Northeast Helps Prepare Students for the Future of Agriculture

Northeast CC Campus

Hunter Bergman

Many jobs in the workforce tie into the agricultural economy. With so many new advancements in technology, what was once pictured as a farmer spending long hours in the hot summer day, has now come to an engineering feat. Why is this important for the next generation of leaders? In order to create one of these machines, many more skills are needed such as programming, electrical mechanics and an understanding of networks.

According to Susan Green, a Development Officer at Northeast Community College, “One out of every two jobs in Nebraska is Ag related.” Northeast offers a lot of opportunities to foster innovative experiences pertaining to agriculture. As an agri-business major, students will be exposed to hands-on activities in crop production, livestock and analysis of case studies for agribusiness. Northeast also has a 566-acre working college farm to develop real-life skills. As an agronomy major, students will take courses in soil science, crop science, entomology, forages, chemicals, marketing, sales, computers and precision farming with GPS and geographic information system.

Of course technology is always growing, because of this students must look to the future and ask important questions. What will agriculture look like in ten years? After interviewing several industry leaders at Husker Harvest Days 2018, the future is smart. Smart as in applications that can measure how hydrated crops are, control pivots, and streamline the farming process. Companies such as Valley Irrigation, have developed a mobile app that monitors when you need to water crops. This application helps growers reduce the stress on their crops.

What can we expect to see in the future? Proficiency. As agriculture merges with the technology sector, producers can plan on seeing innovations from artificial intelligence monitoring crop to autonomous machinery. The goal of this is to help minimize risk and maximize profit margins.