Ridgewater College develops partnership with ag industry sponsors

Ridgewater College has developed a new Ag Industry Partner Sponsorship Program, partnering with 29 agribusiness partners in the area.

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WILLMAR — Ridgewater College has developed a new Ag Industry Partner Sponsorship Program.

According to a news release announcing the program, it includes 29 agribusiness partners who have committed to the program and donated $37,500 — plus an additional $30,000 in in-kind contributions — to the college’s 10 ag programs.

Ridgewater has the largest two-year agriculture education program in Minnesota. The college has campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson. The Ridgewater College Foundation and college’s Agriculture Department worked together to develop the new program.

The agribusiness partners support the program through equipment and supply donations, internships, participation in career fairs and ag expos, and volunteering as classroom presenters and guest speakers.

“We have such great industry partners in our region,” said Tammy Howe, Ridgewater agriculture coordinator, in the college news release.


The program can help businesses increase their brands with students, who are potential employees and customers, she said. It can also open the door to networking and mentorships.

Community partnerships across all areas of the college are essential to the success of the institution and the success of students, explained Kelly Magnuson, Ridgewater vice president for advancement & outreach and executive director of the foundation.

“We’re excited about the overwhelming response to this new program — it’s a win-win for the college and the partners, and really highlights the industry’s confidence in our agriculture programs,” she said.

“It’s really about engaging and connecting,” said Jeff Miller, Ridgewater dean of instruction. “We want to ensure the next generation of ag professionals know about the wide variety of exciting employment opportunities and resources that are out there.”

Donated funds will be used for new program equipment and student technology, a new precision technology trailer to help promote ag programs to high school students and other initiatives. Donations to the program are tax-deductible through the foundation.

“For years, we have enjoyed working with the faculty to provide unique learning opportunities for students,” said Sarah Kuechle of Form-A-Feed of Stewart, one of the industry partners in the program.

Many of the company’s customers and customers’ children have benefited from the hands-on curriculum at Ridgewater, she said.

To learn more about the Ridgewater Ag Industry Partner Sponsorship program, contact Tammy Howe at .

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