Helping farmers understand the animal agriculture industry and make informed decisions about livestock management is the goal of Ivy Tech's new online certificate program for Indiana's agriculture community.
Developed in partnership with the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, this comprehensive 21-week online course can give anyone looking to add livestock, poultry or aquaculture to their operation the tools and knowledge they need to potentially run a successful livestock or aquaculture business.
"ISA is always interested in ways to help farmers learn about diversifying their operations to bring the next generation back to the farm," said Carl Kissell, chairman of ISA's demand committee. "This new program offers farmers an opportunity to increase their knowledge of animal agriculture and see how they might incorporate livestock into their operation."
The program covers a wide range of topics aimed at educating farmers who are looking into adding livestock or aquaculture production to their operation, including how to develop a comprehensive business plan. The program is also designed for farmers who want their employees to gain more knowledge on the best practices in the livestock industry.
"The content is designed to be immediately useful for beginning a livestock, poultry, or aquaculture business or for increasing your value as an employee in such a business," said Matt John, Ivy Tech's agriculture program chair. "Farmers that are interested in beginning or improving their livestock operations will gain access to valuable information directly designed to provide a broad picture of all the segments of business planning, operations, waste management, production and public relations."
"Livestock is the biggest user of soybean, and aquaculture is a growing market," Kissell said. "Our organization is interested in doing things that promote the use of soybeans, and we're looking for ways we can help livestock operations improve and offer them resources so they're better equipped."
ISA is encouraging applicants considering this course to visit their website to learn more about six scholarships they are offering. Registration deadline for the current fall course is September 12.