Tech Tilling: Precision ag is here and now

In addition to changing the way farmers approach their work, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology is demanding a new set of skills for everyone involved.
“Using GPS to precisely track what’s being done in farm fields puts the focus on production and profit concerning each acre, while factoring in topography and drainage,” said Randy Tenpas, department chair of Fox Valley Technical College’s (FVTC) agriculture programs in Wisconsin.
Much of today’s agriculture equipment comes with systems needed for precision farming installed at the factory.
“Farmers and their agronomists now have technology to bring operations to the next level,” added Tenpas. “Other schools have classes on precision farming, but Fox Valley Tech offers the only program in the state designed specifically for working adults, in addition to the latest equipment, thanks to several partnerships, including Service Motor Company.”
The one-year Precision Agriculture Technician program at FVTC is very accessible and provides a solid foundation of skill sets related to optimizing crop production, in addition to the application of electronically controlled systems and customer service experiences.
“You learn how to collect data, analyze it, and then turn it all into useful information,” said Tenpas. “Our students gain real skills that are needed to make precision farming a part of their everyday work in agriculture.”
The 32-credit offering is held on FVTC’s Appleton campus with additional locations supported by several regional partnering farms. For more information, call (920) 735-5672.

Growing Graduates
Fox Valley Tech’s programs in Agri-Business Agronomy Technician, Agri-Business Dairy Technician, Agri-Business Management Technician, Agri-Businesses Science Technology, Agriculture Equipment Service Technician, Agriculture Power Equipment, Farm Business & Production Management, Farm Operation, Outdoor Power Equipment Technician, and Precision Agriculture Technician all experienced 100 percent graduate employment, while infusing more than 115 skilled professionals into Wisconsin.
Source: 2018 Fox Valley Technical College Graduate Employment Research Report