Most careers in modern agriculture and related sciences require education beyond secondary school. Outstanding agriscience and agribusiness educational programs beyond the high school level of instruction are more important today than ever before.
The Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award is sponsored by Syngenta.
|Region I||Yavapai Community College Chino Valley, Arizona. Instructors: Jason Brewer, James Perey, Marnee Zazueta|
|Region II||Mid America Technology Center
Wayne, Oklahoma. Instructor:Everett Wollenberg
|Region III||Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Marshall, Minnesota. Instuctors: Dennis Schroeder and Troy Otto
|Region IV||Linn State Technical College
Instructors: Sarah Denkler and Ryan Klatt
|Region V||Central High Adult Agricultural Education Program Pageland,
Instructors: Tim Maye and Ashli Young
|Region VI||East Augusta Adult Farmer Program
Fisherville, Virginia. Instructor:Garland E. King
The Yavapai Agribusiness Technology program's mission is to change the image of the agricultural industry through collaborative effort with qualified professionals, providing students with marketable skills necessary for job placement or general interest in an agricultural career. "It is important that our students reflect what the industry is looking for in skill, leadership, and work ethic," expressed Perey.
The faculty and staff of the Yavapai Agribusiness Program deliver high quality, hands-on education by utilizing a greenhouse, a 2-hole golf course, horseshoeing barn, and phytoremediation wetlands. Students manage these facilities as they would a business of their own. These students generate over 5,000 pounds of fish annually, as well as producing several thousand dollars worth of hydroponic vegetables, bedding plants, ornamentals, and poinsettias. The turf and fisheries programs have a 100% placement rate of students in their prospective degree areas.
One third of all classes offered by Yavapai Agribusiness are transmitted via television to other campuses throughout the country. This past year, the Agribusiness Department created an agreement offering Chino Valley High School Seniors morning classes.
Wollenberg states that his program, "Mid America Technology Center enriches stability and growth by providing educational opportunities for citizens and businesses in the community." Wollenberg's Agriculture Business Management program uses regularly scheduled classes teach farmers and ranchers the basic importance of written goals, record keeping, financial statements, cash flow and projections, budgeting, income tax management and business analysis.
In order to individualize instruction, on-farm visits are utilized to assist each producer with individual needs. Wollenberg believes this is especially important to the learning process, as, "Adults require a more specific approach to their individual needs… when an adult student can see how it applies to their operation, and it becomes a reality, and is applied or retained as a situation is encountered.
Mid America's Agriculture Business Management Program has become so successful that there is a waiting list of people to enroll in the next class. This program is a tremendous example of agriculture leadership with a strong commitment to the agriculture community.
The Marshal Farm Business Management (FBM) Program serves more than 125 farm families in the Marshal area with quality management education. Its primary purpose is to help farm families achieve their business and personal goals through improved farm organization, management efficiency, and marketing.
"We believe that the best way to help our students learn is to have them interact with the subject, to experience the effects of their management decisions, and to understand the consequences of chosen management practices," stated Schroeder. The students use their farming operations as their textbooks. Their educational experiences include examining, evaluating, interpreting, projecting, planning, and managing their own business. Schroeder and Otto are in the forefront of teaching technology, creating spreadsheets and programs that assist farmers with their livestock and crop management needs.
Two of the Marshal FBM Program's students have received national recognition for their management abilities, including one of the Top 100 Best Managed Farms in the U.S. The instructors have also received various honors such as the National FFA Agriscience Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Young Teacher Award.
Linn State Technical College's two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program in Commercial Turf and Grounds Management (CTG) is designed to prepare students to enter careers as assistant golf course superintendents or as specialist in other areas of turf management. Denkler states, "Landscape design is now a 61 billion dollar industry and the average base salary, according to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, of a golf course superintendent is $63,065 nation wide."
"The mission of the CTG program is to provide the diverse commercial turf and grounds industries of Missouri and beyond with skillful and knowledgeable employees who posses the ability to quickly advance and become members of the leadership team while earning profitable compensation," stated Denkler. The program offers students, communications and Hispanic public relations, hands-on learning, theory application in real world scenarios and advanced professionalism. In addition to this students have the opportunity of becoming involved with the Postsecondary Student Agriculture Organization and can compete in various events at the state and national level.
The Adult Agriculture Education Program began in 1987, offering 1 educational program consisting of local business displays. Today, the program has flourished, providing a series of educational programs throughout January and February. There are additional programs in November during Farm City Week and Agriculture Appreciation Week in March.
The curriculum is developed new each year to meet the needs of the community. Serving a large county, the program provides a variety of courses in order to serve the cattle ranchers, melon producers, foresters and several others in the agriculture industry. Each class is a meeting of the Young Farmer and Agribusiness Chapter. Once chapter business subsides, a local specialist shares valuable information the members can take and use in their prospective field. Past courses include Roadside Markets, Wild Game Management, Farm Equipment Safety, and Conservation Cost-Share Programs.
The Central High Young Farmers is one of the top chapters in South Carolina, winning several state awards and state recognition for excellence. Leaders within the program, as well as local partnerships developed, have helped make the Central High Adult Agricultural Education Program successful.
The East Augusta Young Farmer curriculm is developed through committees, where the members decide what is of intrest, what is needed and what is most beneficial to the group. Throughout the year, the Young Farmer Program will have approximately 24 class periods. Each class will focus on teaching and/or improving basic skills through hands on activities, guest speakers and field trips.