Unless you’re a history fanatic, you’ve probably never heard of a small Kansas town that sits 90 miles south of Kansas City, Kan. Fort Scott is not only home to a National Historic site which features a fully preserved soldier fort that was built in 1842, but also one of America’s national cemeteries. What most might be surprised to know is that Fort Scott is also home to the oldest public community college in the state. Fort Scott Community College (FSCC) was established in 1919 and added an Agricultural department in 1975. The program has since grown and offers a livestock judging team, meat judging team, rodeo team and a Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter.

The buzz on campus coming into the fall semester of 2019 was the celebration for the 100th birthday of the college. There was even more excitement within the Agriculture for the ribbon cutting on the completed renovation and addition project of their department’s home within Burris Hall. Both the ribbon cutting and centennial celebration took place on September 20-21.

Burris Hall was originally built for an Environmental Water Qualities program but now serves as the agricultural headquarters for FSCC. The addition totals nearly 3,000 square feet and features a large commons area, new offices, a kitchen and collaboration stations for students. The existing portion of Burris features updated classrooms.

In addition to the Associates of Science program that FSCC offers to students looking to continue their education at a 4-year institution, the agriculture program also offers other options for students not wishing to continue their education past the community college level. The Farm and Ranch Management program is a one-year program designed for individuals looking to enhance their knowledge of production agriculture. The Associates of Applied Science is a more comprehensive version of the Farm and Ranch Management program and offers a wider variety of educational experiences.

FSCC Agriculture Instructor Sara Sutton says, “Every graduating senior and even non-traditional students can find value in our programs and something that fits their educational direction. We are also excited to add three new classes to our already diverse lineup this year; Agricultural Leadership, Agricultural Communications and Introduction to Food Science. This will help us be even more diverse in our course offerings and fit even more student needs.”

Along with offering numerous agricultural education options, FSCC Agriculture boasts a strong history of competitive collegiate teams. First FSCC is proud to be one of only two community colleges in Kansas to offer a collegiate meat judging team. The “meats” team at FSCC has won four national championships and 2 reserve national championships since 2010. FSCC is also home to a nationally competitive livestock judging team that has won numerous national contests throughout its history and continues to be a contender. The FSCC rodeo team competes in the Central Plains region which includes Kansas and Oklahoma. Team members have the opportunity to practice in Arnold Indoor Arena on the campus of FSCC as well as the Bourbon County Fairgrounds located directly across the street. FSCC Rodeo is one of the few programs that houses its stock, student horse stalls and an indoor arena right on campus. The team is well known for its strength in the rough stock events but has a powerful timed event background as well.

Sutton states, “FSCC has a little bit of something for everyone. We have a small town feel with lots of options.”  IP