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Agriculture Program Earns Blue Ribbon

By Ziadah Ziad
On March 2, 2016

This year Kirkwood Community College reached the top of the list in the country for total number of associate degrees awarded in Agriculture, with a total of 117 graduates, up 16 percent last year. The graduates consisted of 80 men and 37 women. 

According to Scott Ermer, dean of agriculture, the assessment was conducted by Community College Week and is based on the report submissions that each college sends to the U.S. Department of Education every year. Ermer stressed that the rankings are not a competition. Instead the rank is a pat on the back for the staff and the students.

He said over the past eight years the Agriculture, Agricultural Operation and Related Sciences Program has always placed in the top four. Currently, this department runs 14 programs and most programs have been operating for more than 20 years, according to Ermer. Well implemented curricula, solid team and experienced staff have created a learning environment that is designed to meet the students’ needs Ermer said. “We focus on student completion and if we focus on that we will stay in the top ranking,” he added. 

Carolina Eufemia, vet tech,  stated, “Kirkwood pushed me to do my best. I think the professors and staff are really focused on helping the students to achieve their goal.” Ermer also discussed the possible challenges, in general, the program might face, such as the fluctuation of grain prices that could possibly cause  younger generations to be less interested in pursing careers in agriculture. 

He stated that educational institutions are challenged to design programs and breakthroughs to meet the future demands to produce well-educated farmers in order to address this issue. 

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