Northeast Precision Ag Program Named in National Top 20

Published on: August 27, 2019

WILLOUGHBY, OH – Northeast Community College’s quality reputation in its 12 agriculture programs is well known. A national media outlet confirmed that in 2018 by ranking one of the College’s programs among the “Top 20” in the United States.

The online media outlet PrecisionAg listed Northeast’s precision agriculture program at #6 on its list of the “Top 20 two-year colleges for precision agriculture.”

“The number of community colleges in the U.S. that are preparing students for successful careers in precision agriculture is staggering. Because of that, it was extremely challenging to narrow this list down to just 20 schools,” said Matt Hopkins, senior online editor for PrecisionAg.com. “After extensive research, including surveying the heads of precision ag programs throughout the country, we were able to select what we felt were the most deserving two-year schools.”

Hopkins said the Northeast program reflects the quality of precision ag programming that is offered at the nation’s community colleges.

“The precision ag program at Northeast Community College is a prime example of what we were looking for in a school. Northeast’s program, led by Chris Burbach, does a great job of giving students a well-rounded education with the right mix of classroom learning and hands-on training.”

Northeast’s precision agriculture program offers a two-year associate of applied science degree that focuses on maximizing yield potential while developing more resource efficient practices and utilizing technologies and data system to drive decision making on farms. 

The program was developed after an advisory committee of 21 various agricultural businesses and organizations met several times to assist the College to identify the need and develop the sequence of courses essential to the type of workforce the industry needs. In addition, faculty and staff in the Northeast Agriculture Department noticed an increased level of interest with regard to precision agriculture by both students and parents.

Northeast has also taken precision agriculture on the road through its Precision Agriculture Learning (PAL) simulator which is outfitted with multiple hands-on mobile training modules to train current and future producers. Customized training is offered through Northeast’s Center for Enterprise.

Corinne Morris, dean of agriculture, math, and science at Northeast, said the ranking by PrecisionAg reaffirms that Northeast is addressing its mission of meeting the needs of the region as well as the industry.

“This endorsement by PrecisionAg really speaks to our work in teaching critical thinking and problem solving skills to our ag students … skills and techniques that they will utilize throughout their careers either back on their farms or in the highly technical ag industry.”

 PrecisionAg is a diversified, independent media enterprise serving the global community using precision agriculture techniques – adjusting production inputs and practices based on in-field variability, typically through use of geographic positioning systems (GPS) and other technologies.

Funding for the$23 million project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.

For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse, tracyk@northeast.edu, 402-844-7056. Online donations can be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks can be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.