In response to the needs of the newly settled people in Rift Valley Province of the new independent Kenya, the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru established Baraka Farmers Training Centre (FTC) in 1974. This was a collaborative effort with the Government of Kenya thus establishing partnership and collaboration as basic principles from the very beginning. In 1977 in response to request from late Emeritus Archbishop Ndingi Mwana Nzeki the then Bishop of Nakuru, the Franciscan Brothers from Ireland took over the management of the FTC from the Kiltegan Fathers.
In the early years the curriculum reflected conventional agricultural training with an emphasis on high external input high output agriculture. With changing demographics, social and economic conditions it became increasingly obvious that this development approach was not responding to the needs of the small-scale farmers. A watershed in the development of the college was a three-week international workshop on sustainable agriculture that was held at the college in August 1986. This workshop was initiated and funded by Misereor, a long time partner of Baraka.
Subsequent to this Workshop the college developed curricula and courses to promote the concept of sustainable agriculture. In the early 1990s the name of the institution was changed to ‘Baraka Agriculture College (BAC)’ and the development concept was extended to include rural development thus becoming Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD).
BAC is now registered with the Ministry of Education under the TVET act 2012’ The College has a constitution, College Board of Governance (CBG) that provides for policy and direction and Board of Trustees that provide custody of BAC assets. Since 1St of September 2018, the college which has been under the governance of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru was transferred to be under the direct governance and management of the Franciscan Brothers.
The mandate and functions of BAC are informed by the social teachings of the church, the college constitution, the stakeholders and the Government of Kenya. The college operates within the context of the Kenyan and Eastern Africa environment.