CHS is funding two UMN programs that offer expansive agricultural education and skills training across the spectrum of current and potential ag professionals: AgriCast and NXT GEN AG.
Raising ag awareness: AgriCast is a digital ag education platform featuring content produced by the University of Minnesota’s agricultural education, communication, and marketing students. CHS provided critical support in Argicast’s early days, and the resources it creates continue to inspire students to choose careers in ag and ag education.
Training for the digital age: CHS funding helps support educators and communicators in creating digital media that connects students to lessons about food systems, and excites them about careers in agriculture. AgriCast is an initiative of the Minnesota Model for Agriscience Education and Communication that continues to make an impact on training current and future ag educators through podcasts, virtual field trips, lesson plans, and a video library.
“With AgriCast one of our goals is to engage a wider variety of students who didn’t grow up in agriculture to see all the other jobs in the industry. Showing them different career fields and engaging them in new technology will make for a stronger future workforce.”
Troy McKay, CHS digital media instructor
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
When missions align: With the primary mission of the CHS Foundation to educate the next generation of agriculture leaders, the opportunity to support Troy McKay and his work with the Minnesota Model could not be better aligned with that goal.
“The primary mission of the CHS Foundation is to educate the next generation of agriculture leaders. The opportunity to support Troy McKay and his work with the Minnesota Model could not be better aligned with that goal. Not only are students exposed to the important field of agriculture education, but they’re also able to utilize the AgriCast virtual field trips and other tools in their own classrooms upon graduation. This multi-pronged approach helps exponentially expand the program’s reach beyond a traditional method. Furthermore, we know a thriving agriculture industry relies on talented students choosing a career in ag, and the Minnesota Model helps expose students to the many opportunities in this field.”
Megan Wolle, president
Training for working professionals: With support from CHS, the University’s new NXT GEN AG program provides skills training to build and develop a new generation of rural ag industry leaders. The program targets students who are currently in the workforce, in any stage of their career, with or without past higher education experience, and creates a pathway to earning a certificate or degree in their chosen field.
Flexible offerings: Whether they engage with NXT GEN AG through the University of Minnesota Crookston or Twin Cities, students have access to the world-class resources they need to advance their careers. The 21-credit certificate program is held 100% online, and helps grow some of the most sought-after skills in today’s agriculture:
- Problem solving
- Creativity and innovation
- Data analysis and decision making
- Community engagement
“The NXT GEN AG curriculum is the response to a series of focus groups and conversations with major ag employers about the skills and competencies they need and want for their workforce. We are delighted that CHS is our partner in this pilot and providing us feedback to make this coursework even more relevant and impactful.”
—Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor
University of Minnesota Crookston