Midwest community colleges with strong agricultural programs and traditions have joined together in a national consortium to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS).
This collaboration, which also includes USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), was born out of a mutual desire to provide more ongoing education, training and demonstration to future farm producers and agricultural service providers with the goal of improving the health, and therefore the long–term productivity, resilience, and sustainability of the soil.
USDA’s NRCS and SARE programs are a critical link in the education of the current generation of farmers and ranchers; and colleges such as Northeast are considered an important asset in educating the next generation of producers. A majority of community college agriculture students each year go back to their family farms or work within the industry once they graduate, while others transfer to four-year institutions. With the vast infusion of data and technology in agriculture, training the middle skills workforce in agriculture is imperative in meeting our world’s growing food needs and sustaining our land and resources for future generations.
In addition to working together on applied research projects that advance student learning on their College Farms, member institutions partner with one another to share resources, faculty expertise, curriculum and tools which will advance the future of agriculture production in this country.