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OBR Approves New Precision Ag Degree

OBR Approves New Precision Ag Degree

May 5, 2014

Chancellor John Carey of the Ohio Board of Regents has approved Clark State Community College’s request to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Agriculture beginning in August. The program will enable the college to contribute to the region’s focus on UAS growth by training students to provide essential, real-time analysis of collected data   

“Clark State is the expert in two-year agricultural education, and agriculture was one of the first programs we offered at our institution,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president, Clark State Community College. “I am so very proud of our faculty who have worked tirelessly on this program. Their relationships with industry and, of course, our students are what will make this program successful.”

Clark State’s program will blend together the college’s long-standing agriculture programs with its state-of-the-art geospatial technologies expertise to train the next generation of Ohio’s farmers. Student’s will be prepared to analyze data collected from precision agriculture platforms and make recommendations that will result in cost savings and an increased production yield, in an environmentally conscious manner. Labor forecasts indicate that jobs for agriculture majors will grow sixteen percent by 2018 and food and agriculture are Ohio’s number one industry.

Precision agriculture brings together real-time data collection on weather, soil and air quality, crop maturity, equipment and labor costs and availability, with predictive analytics to make better decisions with regard to planting, fertilizing and harvesting crops. Sensors placed throughout the fields are used to measure temperature and humidity of the soil and surrounding air. In addition, pictures of fields are taken using satellite imagery and robotic drones.

“In academia, you get very few opportunities to create an academic program that could make a difference to an entire industry…this is one of them,” said Dr. Amit Singh, vice president of academic affairs, Clark State Community College. “Clark State has positioned itself as the state leader in precision agriculture and will train the workforce that will transform farming in Ohio and beyond.”

Clark State is working closely with industry partners including the City of Springfield, the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center located in Springfield and SelectTech Geospatial Advanced Manufacturing, to develop the curriculum and provide hands-on learning experiences for our students and leverage the region’s strong aviation industry.

“We are fortunate to have faculty and partners who are at the forefront of this technology,” said Jane Cape, dean, business and applied technologies division, Clark State Community College. “Our students will be prepared to use, manage and manipulate GIS applications to provide real-time data and analysis to farmers and agricultural businesses.”

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