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AgCentric adding a new partner to the Center of Excellence Council

On Thursday, May 17, St. Cloud Community and Technical College will become the newest member of AgCentric.

AgCentric was formed in 2014 by founding partners Central Lakes College (Staples and Brainerd), Northland Community and Technical College (Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks), and Ridgewater College (Willmar and Hutchinson).

AgCentric works in four major areas to support the agriculture industry. First, agriculture career pathway development is core to supporting industry partners in finding necessary talent to bring food from field to table. Second, AgCentric partners with the Southern Center of Agriculture to orchestrate the Farm Business Management program across eight colleges within the Minnesota State system. With nearly 3,000 farmers enrolled in the program, Minnesota FBM helps to support the largest national database for farm benchmarking.

Third, AgCentric advocates. AgCentric leaders advocate with legislators to promote agricultural education in schools and with consumers. They advocate for literacy of the food and fiber system. Finally, they educate and train. AgCentric fosters education and training in eight career pathways of agriculture with its partner colleges. From online introduction to agriculture courses to unmanned aircraft system (drone) operations and management training, AgCentric finds and fill voids in the education programs to better serve Minnesota agriculture.

St. Cloud Technical and Community College will contribute to the AgCentric work by bringing in additional industry partners, additional Farm Business Management experience, advocacy opportunities to a diversity urban audience and through offerings of programs that enhance and support current programs in partner schools.

AgCentric is one of eight Centers of Excellence for Minnesota State. Its mission is: "We Develop and Support Excellence Agricultural, Food Natural Resources, And Horticulture Programs and Career Pathways in Partnership with K-12, Government, Other Academic Institutions, And the industry."

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