Clark State expands degree program in growing field

Clark State Community College will expand its precision agriculture department by adding a new degree and will host a workshop for high school teachers this month on the growing field.

The expansion shows the community college is focused on providing education that can impact many lives in the county and throughout the world, Professor and Coordinator of Precision Agriculture Larry Everett said.

“It’s a worldwide trend,” Everett said of precision agriculture. “In Ohio, we are a little bit behind than other states. Some states have been doing this for a while.”

MORE: Clark State recognizes efforts to promote diversity

Agriculture contributes $105 billion to the Ohio economy and accounts for one in seven jobs in the state, according to the Ohio Farm Bureau.

Everett is also the director of the Ohio Center for Precision Agriculture. The new precision agriculture technology degree will give Clark State students more options to specialize in the industry, he said. The school now offers two degrees in precision agriculture, which uses technology such as unmanned aircraft and GPS to improve efficiency in areas such as planting, watering and fertilizer applications.

“What we are trying to do is to allow producers, anyone connected to agriculture, GPS technology to be able to manage each plant differently because each plant might had different needs,” he said.

CLARK STATE: Clark State recruiting for engineering innovation and phone games

The community college will also host a workshop June 12 and 13 for high school agriculture and science, technology, engineering and math teachers. Teachers can receive a stipend for attending and will also be offered equipment that they can use to help teach their students.

The National Science Foundation awarded Clark State a more than $402,000 grant for precision ag technology projects, including the teachers workshop and equipment to later use in their classrooms.

It’s no secret precision agriculture is a growing field, Executive Director of SelecTech Geospatial Frank Beafour said. The Springfield-based company manufactures unmanned aircraft. He has worked closely with Clark State and said it’s important field.

“Precision ag is nothing new, we have been doing it for years and getting better and better,” he said.

MORE: Clark State adds banking program to meet demand for workers

Right now tractors have the ability to drive themselves, Beafour said, and can locate areas of fields best suited for growing.

Technology continues to grow and become more complicated and the new two-year degree program aims at helping students understand that technology. Students are also offered an opportunity to learn soil science and other basic essentials of the industry.

“We don’t teach it all in a classroom,” Everett said. “We go through the basics but an awful lot of it is done in the laboratory or land laboratory. We have a pretty good network with other producers that students can go out and get hands-on experience.”

Many internships are available to students as well, he said, something students need to take advantage of to fully grasp the complexity of precision agriculture.

“Every business has a little different take on it,” Everett said. “They might specialize in one area or another so it kind of depends on each business and how they want to operate.”

A new business coming to Champaign County is Crop Production Services Inc. The business focuses on precision agriculture technology and how it can help farmers be more productive for their crops. Steve Emery of Crop Production Services Inc. said the field is ever expanding and a good choice for high school students looking for a career path.

“Farming today is heavily reliant on technology,” Emery said. “We rely on GPS for placement as it goes through the fields. Farmers are utilizing global positioning for when they plant their crops to give them better crop spans, to be able to place the seed in the right areas of fields.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

The area’s newest club for kids just got a boost from local restaurants
The area’s newest club for kids just got a boost from local restaurants

The Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty is the latest recipient of a local restaurant company’s generosity. The youth club, which opened in early December, has received a donation of $17,755 from CTI Restaurants, Inc. The money will be used for program supplies and specialty education programs. MORE TRENDING NEWS » 7 new restaurants...
Few thousand turn out in support of Women’s March
Few thousand turn out in support of Women’s March

An estimated few thousand people descended on downtown Dayton to support equality. The 2018 Women’s March drew people across the region. The event at Courthouse Square is being organized by Dayton Women’s Rights Alliance, along with Dayton Indivisible for All and others. The rally is designed to engage and empower all people to support...
Liberty Twp. didn’t get Amazon’s second HQ, but big dreams continue
Liberty Twp. didn’t get Amazon’s second HQ, but big dreams continue

Liberty Twp.’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters didn’t pan out, but it did solidify the resolve of local officials to continue already existing economic development efforts aimed at attracting similar companies, officials said. The HQ2 project, which generated 238 applicants from cities and regions in 54 states, provinces...
Suspect indicted in Coldwater stabbing death
Suspect indicted in Coldwater stabbing death

A 19-year-old Coldwater man is charged with murder in the death of a woman in her apartment earlier this month. A Mercer County grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Francy Majo. He is accused of killing 47-year-old Sandra Renner Jan. 3 on North Elm Street in Coldwater. Majo was arrested the next morning. According to police, Majo said...
Dayton detective fires shots; no injuries in Salem Avenue incident
Dayton detective fires shots; no injuries in Salem Avenue incident

Two people are in custody following an officer-involved shooting late this morning in the 3500 block of Salem Avenue. No one was injured, and the coroner’s office did not respond to the scene, despite earlier reports. Law enforcement responded to the area of Lev’s Pawn Shop, 3351 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp. Dayton police Maj. Eric Henderson...
More Stories