Today's farms require a combination of skilled labor, technology-focus, business acumen, equipment knowledge, as well as facility, animal and feed management and logistics to make them work profitably.
Now you can work on honing these skills with the help of the Next Generation Farming course.
A new strategic alliance with Ivy Tech Corporate College, Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council has produced a 21-week, online course and comprehensive curriculum designed to serve as a foundation or to further your career in livestock, poultry and agricultural operations.
"Farmers will benefit from the course by helping the next generation prepare for a more rewarding career and assure an enduring legacy. Employers will be rewarded with better employees who understand the big picture, contribute more effectively and will stay on the job longer," said Indiana Corn Marketing Council Director of Livestock Andy Tauer.
The new Indiana Animal Agriculture Certificate, the most comprehensive and only livestock and aquaculture certificate program available, will begin on January 19, 2015. Scholarships are available from the soybean and corn checkoff organizations.
The seven-module course consists of presentations, discussion, activities and exams, all designed to upgrade the participant's contribution, responsibilities, commitments, and overall value. Topics of training will also include labor management practices and how to write a business plan.
Additional modules will familiarize the student with how to write a contract and the role of various regulatory agencies, animal nutrition, husbandry and waste management, biosecurity and a guided onsite facilities visit, plus the required information needed to pass the Indiana category 14 fertilizer/applicator certification exam.
"Together, the curriculum, materials and guidance are all designed to better attain a path to success that benefits the worker, farmer, owner and ultimately the community and state. The timing is right, the price is right and the value will start this year as the skills learned are applicable right away," said Ivy Tech Corporate College Lead Program manager Mike Pickrell.
Visit the website for more information or to register for the Ivy Tech Next Generation Farming program.
The registration deadline is January 16, 2015. Cost is $2,187.50 per person. A limited number of scholarships are available.