In this interview with Curt Yoose, an Agriculture instructor at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota, he discusses agricultural technology and education programs. Curt is part of a project that is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program, called Education for Technical Applications in Agriculture. He defines the field as “using technology to make producers, growers, farmers more productive, more efficient, and lessen their impact on the environment, using technology to do those things.” He explained that there are two types of technical applications in agriculture—one dealing with software and data components and another with hardware and electrical components.
Not surprisingly, he says the skill in most demand is troubleshooting, requiring both soft skills and technical skills. He cites the example of a technician using software to help a grower improve his yields and thus, his bottom line. The technician has to ask a series of questions and examine data to determine whether measures are needed to increase crop fertility or whether the soil is poor.