The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded $1 million to Alamance Community College to fund a new Veterinary Medical Technician program.


The funds will support the construction of an instructional barn with animal treatment areas at ACC’s 47-acre Covington Education Center near Mebane, paving the way for the launch of a Veterinary Medical Technician (VMT) program with a special focus on large animals. Simultaneous with the barn’s construction phase, expected to run from August 2025 through January 2026, the College expects to secure VMT program approval, hire instructors, and begin holding classes.


The new two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program is designed to meet the growing demand for skilled veterinary technicians, particularly in the large animal sector, a crucial factor to the continued success of the agricultural backbone of the Alamance County region.


In North Carolina, veterinary medical technicians grew by 35.4 % in the last decade, and the state ranked eighth in the nation with the highest demand for VMTs. Currently, 511 Alamance-Burlington Schools System (ABSS) students are enrolled in Agriculture Pathway course at ACC, and 136 students are taking Animal Science classes in the county’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Clusters. ACC’s new VMT programs will also enroll adult students outside the public school system. Graduates of the VMT program will be eligible to take licensing exams through the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and the NC Veterinary Medical Board.


“This generous funding is not just an investment in the infrastructure of ACC, it’s an investment in the future of veterinary medical technology education and our community's economic growth,” said Dr. Lisa Johnson, Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Instruction. “Our goal is to provide top-tier education and hands-on experience to our students, preparing them to become leaders in veterinary care and animal husbandry.”


“Our strong partnership with Golden LEAF continues to provide opportunities for the college to offer programs that lead to jobs that support our community and region. We are excited for the journey ahead and are committed to making the Veterinary Medical Technology Program a cornerstone of excellence at Alamance Community College,” said ACC President Dr. Ken Ingle.


ACC’s funding was among 13 projects awarded in ten counties by the Golden LEAF Board of Directors through the Community-Based Grants Initiative in the Piedmont-Triad Prosperity Zone, all of them supporting agriculture, job creation and economic investment, and workforce preparedness.


The College worked in partnership with Alamance County Manager Heidi York, who directed the selection of county-supported proposals, including ACC’s proposal for the Veterinary Medical Technician program. The county’s project will receive $300,000 for farm equipment and construction of a shed needed to develop a demonstration farm to assist local farmers.


Dr. Johnson said the support from Alamance County and the Golden LEAF Foundation is a testament to their commitment to the advancement of educational opportunities and the betterment of the local community. The funding not only symbolizes a leap forward in ACC’s educational offerings, but also strengthens the College’s mission to provide innovative and responsive learning experiences that empower students for success.


“The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to support Alamance Community College’s strategy to provide training in high-demand positions,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This new building will help the college launch a Veterinary Medical Technician program not available in this part of the state.”


Golden LEAF’s mission is to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation. For 25 years, the nonprofit has partnered with state and local governments and other foundations to build economic opportunity across North Carolina through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.