Engaging Young Minds with Agriculture

November 7, 2019

Gift from AgCountryA unique, hands-on learning experience will be available in the Spring of 2020 for undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota (U of MN) West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris. A course entitled “Diversity of Agricultural Production Systems” has been developed with the primary objective of demonstrating to students the wide variety of agricultural production systems, and the opportunities for fulfilling, well-paying careers in the large number of disciplines related to agriculture.

This groundbreaking course will be offered to students attending the U of MN College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) as well as to U of MN Morris students. Thanks to a generous gift from AgCountry Farm Credit Services, a portion of the course fees are covered.

“The contribution of AgCountry helps underwrite a portion of the additional costs to students taking this hands-on course. It is a unique opportunity to partner with WCROC, CFANS and multiple farmers in our service area who have stepped up to contribute time and access to their farms, to demonstrate the breadth and complexity of the many agricultural production systems they chose to be a part of,” reports Paul Mahoney, Market Vice President, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Morris.

The goal for this course is to allow students to see firsthand how production systems develop, and to learn from the agriculturalists operating those systems how and why each system functions the way it does. The course is available to all majors, not just those relating to agriculture.

Partners for the “Diversity of Agricultural Production Systems” course include Dr. Lee Johnston, Professor of Swine Nutrition and Management, Dr. Yuzhi Li, Associate Professor of Swine Behavior and Welfare and Dr. Brad Heins, Associate Professor of Dairy Science from the WCROC;  Dr. Ed Brands, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Dr. Margaret Kuchenreuther, Associate Professor of Biology at U of MN Morris; and numerous agricultural producers in the Morris area.