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Ridgewater College and agriculture education partners receive $584,000 grant to train ag technicians

Ridgewater and agriculture partners receive $584,000 grant to address a need for more agriculture technicians.

Briana Sanchez / Tribune file photo
Briana Sanchez / Tribune file photo

WILLMAR β€” Ridgewater College and agriculture partners received a $584,000 National Science Foundation grant to address a need for more agriculture technicians.

The grant will fund the program Technical Applications in Agriculture which will educate and qualify high school students as agriculture technicians.

β€œWe have the second longest running precision agriculture program in the country, along with our newly created Agriculture Power and Equipment Technician program, so this partnership is a natural fit," said Curt Yoose, Ridgewater agriculture instructor.

The agriculture equipment industry has a shortage of qualified technicians, so this program aims to remedy a national problem through education. The program will be a course that offers dual enrollment credit at high schools and post-secondary schools.

Students will learn about manufacturing and geospatial technologies, robotics, electronics, sensors and computer controls. Once they complete the course, they will move into an agricultural technician training program at a partnering post-secondary school or into the workforce.

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Ridgewater College will partner with AgCentric , Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education , Central Lakes College , Northland Community and Technical College and industry professionals.

Ridgewater College has a large agriculture program with options in agribusiness, agricultural science and technology, agriculture power and equipment technician, agronomy, dairy management, farm business management, farm operation and management, gps/gis information systems technology and poultry. For more information, visit their website.

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