J.F. Richards Land Laboratory Demonstration and Research Farm
JJC's demonstration and research farm consists of 107 acres of land dedicated to educational crop production. The farm is dedicated to the Richards family, the previous owners of the land on which the Main Campus of Joliet Junior College is presently located. The Agriculture department established the farm in 1983.
The demonstration and research farm serves as a teaching tool for instructors to utilize hands-on- learning as a means to reinforce classroom instruction. Additionally, the farm serves as a means for students to obtain a visual and participatory role in the operation of farm equipment, observe the effects of various soil-fertility levels, row spacing, seeding rates, planting dates, and soil compaction on crop growth and development. Students also can gain an understanding of various tillage systems and crop protection practices involved in the management of weeds, insects, and diseases.
Students enrolled in soils and fertilizer classes study soil series, fertility levels, and soil- sampling techniques. Crops class labs involve evaluating yields, disease pressure, and pest concentrations. Students taking the Ag Chemicals class evaluate the efficacy of herbicides in both corn and soybean, and corn rootworm larval insecticides.
Students taking courses in farm machinery and mechanics learn machinery operation and how to make appropriate adjustments to get the most efficient use of machines. The farm also allows students to stay in touch with the local agricultural community and agricultural alumni through field days and guided tours of the farm.