Precision Agriculture - Riverland

Precision Agriculture

Precision Agriculture

JOIN THE GROWING TREND
Precision Agriculture combines the content areas of agronomy, agribusiness, computer technology, robotics, geographical information systems (GIS), global positioning systems, agricultural systems technology, engineering, and natural resource conservation. Riverland Community College’s Precision Agriculture certificate prepares students for this growing demand of qualified students ready to make an impact across southeast Minnesota.

What is Precision Agriculture?

This Program Is Right If You:

  • Enjoy agriculture and working with cutting-edge technology
  • Like finding solutions to complex issues to improve agriculture and ecology
  • Desire a fast-paced and rapidly changing work environment
  • Like using your hands and mind to discover new ideas and practices for Minnesota’s farmers
  • Enjoy computers, drones, sensors, and STEM-related tools
  • Enjoy working in an office and field setting
Responsibilities Include
  • Analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps
  • Use remote sensing images to compare data on soil, fertilizers, pests, or weather
  • Advise farmers on using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment
  • Apply precision agriculture information to reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices
  • Compare crop yields tied to input applications
  • Collect information about soil or field attributes, yield data, or field boundaries, using field data recorders and basic geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Prepare fertilizer, seed, chemical, and related-input prescription maps based off of soil test information for farmer’s across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest
  • Develop soil sampling grids/sites for testing soil characteristics
  • Troubleshoot and systemically correct electronic and hardware issues for farmers during the spring and fall seasons
  • Create economical farm plans for producers and serve a consultative-role

 

Notable Employers
  • Raven Industries
  • AgLeader Technology
  • John Deere
  • Bayer Crop Sciences
  • Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Central Farm Service
  • Northern Country Cooperative
  • Farmers Business Network
Internship Opportunties
  • John Deere SEMA/Kibble Equipment
  • Mower County Soil Water Conservation District
  • Northern Country Cooperative
  • FarmTech Services
  • AGCO Corporation
  • Cargill
  • Ziegler CAT

 

    Program Scholarships

The college offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.

  • David and Ollie Hagen Agriculture Scholarship
  • Hormel Foundation Agriculture and Food Science Scholarship
  • Pat and Gary Ray Agriculture Scholarship
  • For more information about scholarships & deadlines please visit: Riverland Foundation Scholarships

 

Faculty Highlight
Nich Schiltz

Nick Schiltz
Ag Instructor
I have been privileged to work as a teacher and educator in a multitude of roles and am excited to teach an area near and dear to my heart: agriculture. Growing up on a local family farm, I learned the 'why's' and 'how's' of what made agriculture so dynamic. Today, I work as a faculty instructor within the Center for Agriculture and Food Science Technology at Riverland Community College, very close to where I grew up. I am passionate about working with students and seeing them have success. Our hope is that students will embrace the concept of being lifelong learners, never forgetting that life is a journey and there is an exciting world to learn more about.


Willy Mekeel

Willy Mekeel
Geography, Physics, Agriculture Instructor
Willy Mekeel holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation and Master's of Science Degrees in Geography and GIS from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota is focused on remote sensing applications in wildlife biology. Specifically, he is answering questions related to the applicability of object-based image analysis workflows in tracking moose and deer populations in Northern Minnesota.
Willy began his teaching career at various community colleges in Minnesota. Since then, he has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level in online and face-to-face courses in geography, GIS, remote sensing, and agricultural sciences. He is driven as an instructor by a passion for adventure and learning that comes from examining the world through a spatial lens. This passion and curiosity has taken him to mountain tops in the Cascades, Rockies, and San Juan ranges as well as caves throughout the United States and Vietnam. He has commercial single-engine and multi-engine pilot certificates as well as the Part 107 remote pilot certificate for small UAS. In the private sector, Willy co-founded an aviation services company and managed the remote sensing program that oversaw the collection of millions of acres of thermal, color, and NIR imagery for applications in agriculture, civil engineering, and management of natural resources

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Last Updated: September 20, 2019

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