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Agriculture Management is a Rewarding Career and Technical Education Program

Drone9.jpgFebruary is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. CTE programs are available in higher education allowing graduates to get into the workforce in two years or less. Dakota College offers Agriculture Management and Technology designed for individuals who want to focus on one or more growing fields: livestock production, crop production, specialty crop production and agribusiness.

Hands-on experiences are offered both in and out of the classroom. The spring curriculum is designed to finish the semester with an internship opportunity.  The first 12 weeks is in classroom study with the remaining 4 weeks in the work field. Students obtain real life practical, hands-on work experience at local agribusinesses and on farms during the busy spring season. There are many employment opportunities with agronomy centers, farming or ranching operations, grain elevators, equipment and parts dealerships, state/federal agencies and numerous other employers in the agriculture industry.  This program assists in meeting the need of the critical workforce shortage in north central North Dakota.
Professor Dr. Linda Burbidge shares, “Many of the internships are paid with valuable work experience along with learning soft skills like working with customers. Nationally, 70% of students who receive internship experience get into jobs right away after college”.  Dakota College has had success getting students into paid internships with agronomy, grain elevators, and some financial institutions.  

The Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) course provides an opportunity for students to learn the FAA regulations and sets them up for commercial drone license. ND is in the top drone friendly states. Drones are an important tool used in the agriculture operations. They can inspect wind towers, crops, take photos and videos for crop scouting instead of trampling through the fields. Sensors are available on drones to identify plant health and create field maps.

Students have the option to complete an Agriculture Management and Technology certificate program (one year) or two-year associate degree program. A certificate of completion is also available in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Agriculture Management is in its third program year with enrollment increasing each year.  It provides students an opportunity to get into the work field in two years or less.