CBC Offers New Agriculture Production Degree Giving Students Hand-on Experience for a Growing Field

CBC Offers New Agriculture Production Degree Giving Students Hand-on Experience for a Growing Field

Posted Date: July 22, 2020
CBC College Relations

Pasco, Wash. – Columbia Basin College (CBC) is expanding its agriculture program by offering a new Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Agriculture Production degree in fall 2020. Students pursuing this two-year program will earn three Certificates including Crop & Soil, Precision Agriculture and Hydroponics & Greenhouse Management.

“Given the widespread use of precision agriculture and crop production including hydroponics and greenhouse management throughout our region, a thorough understanding of modern technologies is essential for CBC agricultural graduates to succeed in their future careers as agronomists, irrigation specialists, agricultural technicians and mechanics, farm managers, consultants and more,” said Rod Taylor, CBC’s Dean for Math, Science & Engineering. “Our program offers hands-on training, dynamic curriculum and internship opportunities which will make our graduates employable and valuable to the local workforce.”

In May 2020, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) provided CBC’s Agriculture program with $494,767 through the Career Connect Washington Career Launch program, which will provide students hands-on experience with the latest technology sought by today’s employers. The new equipment will not only support coursework in CBC’s new AAS in Agriculture Production degree program, but all of their Ag degree programs, including their Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in Applied Management with a concentration in Agriculture.

The equipment includes a customized multi-crop research harvester, a windrower, hay baler, two hydroponics systems, a disc, packer, irrigation system and control panel, and two agricultural drones. The single plot harvester is equipped with dual seats to provide direct instruction from an instructor. It also has updated technology to measure moisture and provide other information regarding harvested crops.

“The equipment will expose students to advanced agricultural experiences that would be difficult to provide otherwise,” Taylor said. “They will allow students exposure to real work experiences and help them hit the ground running in a high-demand field with good salary potential.”

Although the agriculture industry is a high-demand field in the Tri-Cities area, it is often seen as an undesirable, low-income career. “People think of agriculture as digging in the dirt, working in the fields. But it’s more than that. It’s employing technology to be more efficient in using the resources needed to create a higher yield. Access to the industry’s latest technologies will help combat negative stereotypes, pique interest in agriculture careers and provide students with deeper understanding of the science and technology embedded within modern agriculture,” Taylor said.

For more information, visit columbiabasin.edu/agriculture or contact CBC’s School of Math, Science and Engineering at 509-542-4873.

Source: Columbia Basin College