A long-time partnership between Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis. and Service Motor Company, a Case IH dealership with five locations in eastern Wisconsin, has just gotten stronger. Last week, the school granted SMC naming rights to its recently expanded agriculture training center after a recent $1.1 million gift in the form of scholarships, equipment and financial support.

Company officials said forging another partnership with FVTC made sense--especially since the college passed a $66.5 million public referendum in April of 2012, which included construction of the new 2,800 square foot training center.

"Great education requires the latest technologies," said SMC President Jim Sommer. "Our support of the college exemplifies its vital role in developing a skilled workforce built on efficiency and innovation."

SMC is a fifth-generation family owned and operated company that specializes in the sales and service of agricultural, construction, and lawn and garden equipment. In 2010, the company teamed up with Case IH to pledged $15 million in training equipment to FVTC over 10 years. The college uses that equipment to prepare learners in agri-business programs, along with agriculture outdoor power equipment, farm operation, natural resources and horticulture.

"Service Motor Company's support helps us improve farm management systems in soils, field production, harvesting and more," notes Mike Cattlelino, an associate dean at FVTC.

Cattlelino adds that over the past five years, 99-percent of the school's agriculture program graduates earn jobs within six months after graduation.