Walla Walla Community College’s Precision Agriculture program is growing the future. Drone land and crop monitoring, computerized mapping systems, high tech controls, sensors, monitoring systems and guidance systems help the modern farmer continuously produce more food, fiber and fuel. Modern farmers know that new technology increases their efficiency.

WWCC Precision Ag courses include up-to-the-minute information on field maps, mapping programs and asset mapping strategies. Aerial imagery of planting, spraying and harvesting is popular with the students. They learn that yield data and soil lab data are essential for growing a better tomorrow.

WWCC Precision Agriculture Instructor Mike Hagerman says, “Precision Agriculture is much more than particular practices used by modern farmers. With today’s technology we can divide a single field in to separate management zones based on inherent variability. Growers are increasing yields, leaving smaller carbon footprints, and applying fewer chemicals, all in addition to saving time and money.”

Jerry Anhorn Jr., Dean of Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources at WWCC, is bullish on Precision Agriculture education. He says, “Send your sons and daughters to WWCC. Your agriculture enterprise will definitely benefit from their education here.”

Agriculture instructor Matt Williams says, “One of the greatest benefits of learning at WWCC is that everything is so hands-on. The students are learning not just from instructors but from practitioners. For instance in our Animal Science area Tyler Cox is a working cattle rancher who teaches two courses for us. Debbie Frazier comes from a local family farm and she is our Ag Business instructor. I work summers as an agronomist with local firms. This sets us apart from a lot of other institutions. We truly do practice what we preach.”

Dean Jerry Anhorn is enthusiastic on the employability of Precision Ag graduates. He says, “There are hundreds or even thousands of careers in Agriculture. Computer driven tractors, combines, and systems are all tied together. Who’s going to run and understand that stuff? We need tech-savvy people to do that! Precision Ag graduates will get more than living wage jobs and the industry is screaming for these people. Agriculture touches every part of our economy in the United States, plain and simple.”

Jerry Anhorn can be reached at jerry.anhorn@wwcc.edu or by calling 509-524-4809.

Recommended for you