February 1, 2015

Update from the Kemptville College
Renewal Task Force

This past Friday, another chapter for Kemptville College opened with the announcement by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal that the Kemptville Campus would be transferred to the Municipality of North Grenville.

This is a critical milestone for the future of a completely new model in delivering post-secondary education in Ontario. We welcome and support the decision of Minister Leal and his Cabinet colleagues in recognizing the potential for a new model and the need for local delivery of post-secondary and continuing education for the agriculture, agri-food and related sectors. This decision, which the Task Force has advocated for over the past six months, now opens the door to alternative approaches, the framework of which was set out last fall in the report proposing the creation of the Kemptville Centre for Rural Advancement.

In addition to identifying several other opportunities for rural advancement, the report set out the foundation for the new education model not seen anywhere else in Ontario:

“Programs will be highly experiential and modular in design, resulting in the ability to meet the needs and expectations of a wider participant market as well as the needs of employers for experienced workers. Market expectations in rural Eastern Ontario include the ability to take single courses, condensed programs, workshops, and the flexibility to complete courses individually with the option to work towards certification/diploma on an extended timeline. To the extent possible, programs/courses should be designed in a manner to serve multiple sectors.”

At this time, I would like to thank Task Force members who have dedicated much time and effort over the past nine months in mapping out a sustainable future for Kemptville College: Charles Bennett, Brian Carre, Donald Good, Sally Harvey, Robert Jelly, Mac Johnston, Heather Lawless, Howard Mains, Jackie Pemberton and Ann Weir. We would also wish to recognize the volunteer support provided by Patricia Remillard and Maureen Venables of the University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus and the financial support provided by Kemptville College Foundation, Ottawa Valley Seed Growers, and several Federations of Agriculture from Peterborough to Prescott-Russell as well as support from the Kemptville College Alumni Association.

While much has been accomplished, much work lays before our community. On behalf of my colleagues, we look forward to working with North Grenville in moving forward to the next chapter for Kemptville College. A promising future awaits.

Marty Derks, KCAT '08

Minister Leal’s news release:

Ontario Addressing Recommendations for Kemptville and Alfred Campuses The province is working with local municipalities to determine options for a sustainable path forward for agricultural education in Eastern Ontario.

In December 2014, Ontario received reports from two facilitators appointed by the province, Lyle Vanclief and Marc Godbout, on the future of the University of Guelph's Kemptville and Alfred campuses.

Ontario is now taking steps to address the future of agricultural education in Eastern Ontario, including:

  • Ensuring the current cohort of Alfred Campus students finish their studies and accepting a new intake of students for the 2015-2016 school year
  • Working to ensure both Kemptville and Alfred campuses remain positive economic assets for the communities they serve
  • Working with the municipality of North Grenville to provide resources and support, and establishing a working group to explore new models for delivering agricultural learning, training and instruction at the Kemptville Campus
  • Maintaining the Kemptville Campus facility for public use as the government enters into negotiation with North Grenville to transfer the property to the municipality
  • Assisting local communities to develop a strategic approach to long-term ownership of the Alfred Campus, crafted to maximize the economic potential of the facility

Ensuring the sustainability of agricultural education and supporting French-language postsecondary education are part of the government's economic plan for Ontario.

“Kemptville and Alfred campuses represent more than bricks and mortar, buildings, roads, and equipment. They are an important part of the culture and tradition of agriculture in eastern Ontario, as well as an economic pillar for the local communities. By moving forward with key recommendations for their future, Ontario is working to secure a sustainable path forward for these institutions. Future plans will support local economic development, as well as agricultural learning and training in eastern Ontario.”

Hon. Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


December 19, 2014

News Release: Task Force Supports Provincial Facilitator’s Recommendations

Download the Press Release...

October 31, 2014

Report delivers concrete options for Kemptville College

North Grenville, ON – The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force welcomes the report tabled at North Grenville council this week that calls for the creation of the Kemptville Centre for Rural Advancement.

“The provincial facilitator, the Hon. Lyle Vanclief, asked for concrete proposals – this report paves the way forward for a sustainable solution for the Kemptville College campus.” said Marty Derks, Chair of the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force. “The proposal that we have delivered to Mr. Vanclief will ensure that skills development programs at the new Kemptville Centre for Rural Advancement will be focused on the current and future needs of employers in Eastern Ontario.”

“We are in full agreement with the report’s findings that program delivery has to be completely re-thought,” added Mr. Derks. “Programs will be highly experiential and modular in design, resulting in the ability to meet the employer needs and attract a broader student population, while at the same time enhancing classroom experience.”

The report identifies four potential program partners: Olds College, Vermont Technical College, Trent University, and Algonquin College.

Vermont Technical College wrote “We are interested in having the opportunity to offer our most successful programs at Kemptville in the future”. Trent University wrote, “Trent wishes to explore the possibilities of partnering with Kemptville College going forward.”

Several private sector partners were also identified in the report. The report was prepared by McSweeney and Associates of Ottawa.

Download the Report

Download the Press Release

Download a copy of The Economic Scan of Eastern Ontario prepared by McSweeney and Associates

October 11, 2014

An update from the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force

Progress continues to be made as the Renewal Task Force looks to develop a proposal for consideration by the Provincial Facilitator, Hon. Lyle Vanclief.

Working with the Municipality of North Grenville, McSweeney economic development consultants have been retained to develop a plan for a renewed Kemptville College. One of the first tasks is to find out from the community what their training needs are.

To do this, we invite you to participate
in this on-line survey at:


Next week on the 14th, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Hon. Jeff Leal, will tour the campus. The following week, on Tuesday, October 21st @ 7:00 pm on the Kemptville Campus in the WB George Centre Mr. Vanclief will be holding a public meeting to receive "concrete proposals" and suggestions. If you are unable to attend, proposals may be submitted to Mr. Vanclief via email (lyle@vanclief.net) no later than October 30, 2014.

Finally, we wish to thank the generous supporters who have donated funds that have allowed the Task Force, in partnership with North Grenville, to proceed with the economic study for a renewed Kemptville College.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Marty Derks

July 16, 2014

The Task Force hosted a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, July 16 to present its findings and recommendations regarding a renewed Kemptville College. Going forward with a new business model for the campus will require transformative change with new programs, new partnerships and a new way of delivering education to the community served by Kemptville College. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Hon. Lyle Vanclief to provide an overview of his role as the provincial facilitator reporting to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable Jeff Leal. At the conclusion of the meeting, a motion was unanimously passed supporting the recommendations of the Task Force.

A video recording of the meeting is available on YouTube...

Download Findings and Recommendations

Download Resolution

July 11, 2014

Kemptville College Renewal Task Force welcomes appointment of Hon. Lyle Vanclief

read the news release...

June 20, 2014

Exploring Possibilities

North Grenville, ON – The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force has accepted the Municipality of North Grenville’s offer to investigate a way to assist the transition of Kemptville Campus, (University of Guelph), into a revitalized Kemptville College.


June 17, 2014

Moving Forward

North Grenville, ON – Now that provincial votes have been counted, the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force is looking forward to putting their plan into action. Several proponents have responded to a formal Request for Expressions of Interest and the Task Force is now ready to take the next steps.


June 5, 2014

Kemptville College Town Meeting moved to July 16

The Renewal Task Force’s Request for Expressions of Interest has resulted in several unique submissions that the Task Force needs further time to evaluate. In addition, the provincial election on Thursday June 12 could greatly impact the context in which the Task Force is functioning. Given these factors the Task Force has decided to move the community town hall meeting to July 16 at 7:00 pm.


Expressions of Interest presented for Kemptville College

Task Force Chair Brian Carré said, “The Renewal Task Force’s Request for Expressions of Interest has provided several unique opportunities that the Task Force needs further time to evaluate.


May 8, 2014

Forging ahead to find a local solution for
Kemptville College, Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) Released

Nearly two months after the announcement that the Kemptville Campus would close, provincial facilitators have finally been appointed. However, the provincially-appointed facilitators are unable to work with stakeholders on a local solution until after the June 12th election. Rather than allowing further delays that put the future of the campus at risk, the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force is busy finding new life for the College during this period and has released a formal Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for potential partners interested in providing post-secondary education and research services at Kemptville College.

read/download REFI...

April 29, 2014

Time for the Province to Explore Options for Kemptville

Following a rally organized by Eastern Ontario farm leaders this past Sunday, a clear mandate has been delivered to the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force to negotiate with the Ontario government and find a long term solution to renew Kemptville College.


April 22, 2014

It’s a Start

Announcement by the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, the Honourable Brad Duguid, to permit a 2014 skilled trades cohort at the Kemptville campus is a step that will allow the Task Force to move forward in finding a solution.


April 8, 2014

Task Force Meets with Three Groups to Explore Local Solutions

The Task Force met with representatives of Algonquin College and St. Lawrence College on Monday, and a private sector group on Friday.  Meetings have been established with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities this week.


March 28, 2014

Task Force Moving Forward To Find a Local Solution

The Kemptville College Task Force is underway and looking forward to hearing back from Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Brad Duguid with respect to the intake of students for the Fall 2014 term.


March 21, 2014

Kemptville College Renewal Task Force Seeks Local Solution

The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force has been established by the Kemptville College Foundation, including a number of key stakeholders, to coordinate efforts and work toward a local and sustainable solution to keep the College in operation.


March 18, 2014

Council Seeks Premier’s Assistance in Finding Local Solution

Council of the Municipality of North Grenville are continuing to take action to prevent the closure of the Kemptville Campus as announced last week by the University of Guelph.