Our Story

Over a century ago, George A. Hormel envisioned that through entrepreneurial acumen and investment, Austin and Southeastern Minnesota would be a global leader in food and agriculture. Years later, Hormel’s vision is advanced not only by Hormel Foods, but by The Hormel Institute, a world-class cancer research destination, and by the STEAM focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Fine Arts and Mathematics) I.J. Holton Intermediate School.

Riverland Community College proposes the next step in advancing George Hormel’s vision: a partnership with The Hormel Foundation to build the Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology – a best-in-class center of excellence that incorporates leading-edge information technology and agricultural science into the practices of farming, food production, and bioenergy. The Austin-based global center will be a destination for students, professionals, practitioners, and communities, enabling them to leverage their collaborative efforts to develop and advance solutions to global agricultural challenges. Riverland’s Center desires to attract and admit students who will have a global impact. The agriculture we practice in the United States is the best in the world. We must share what we have and know what others’ needs are.

According to a 2013 study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) an average of 57,900 jobs will open every year from 2015 to 2020 and require a bachelor’s degree or higher in food, agriculture, natural resources, or environmental studies; science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM); food and biomaterials production; and education, communication, and government services. Strikingly, it is also expected that 39% of positions will go unfilled.

Flowcart AG
To meet the needs of a rapidly growing and active population, a huge opportunity for students to pursue a career in Agriculture and Food Science Technology exists.

Riverland’s Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology will impact county, regional, national, and international students through a multitude of programs. Young students will learn about agriculture at an early age, develop an interest in STEM and college preparatory education, and then transition into Riverland pursuing a STEM and Agricultural education. Students will leave from Riverland to pursue fulfill careers or transfer to a four-year university and continue their education.