Virginia Western to launch new Agriculture Program for Fall 2019

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Virginia Western Community College announces a new Associates Degree in Agriculture that will be available beginning in Fall 2019. The program is designed to be flexible and tailored to individual student needs.

The
Agriculture Program is transferrable to four-year college, where students can
pursue career paths such as extension work, agricultural education,
agribusiness and veterinary medicine, for example. Alternatively, if students
are not interested in transfer they can modify the program to include technical
skills, such as welding, which can help them in their home agribusinesses.
Currently there are approximately 330 different careers available in the
agricultural industry.    

“The Roanoke Region has a robust agricultural history and
we are excited to be offering this truly outstanding program to students,” said
Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Helping individuals
develop the skills they need to succeed in an 21st Century farming
and agricultural landscape, we believe we will have a lasting positive economic
impact on our region.”

Virginia Western will host a launch event for its new
Agriculture Program featuring guest speakers and supporters such as Virginia
Secretary of Agriculture Bettina Ring and Delegate Terry L. Austin.

WHAT:                 Launch of Virginia Western’s Agriculture Program

WHEN:                 3-4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 28

WHERE:               Whitman Theater, Virginia Western Community College
campus (Map
and parking
)

SPEAKERS:          Dr. Robert H. Sandel,
President of Virginia Western

                                Bettina Ring, Virginia Secretary of
Agriculture

                                Del. Terry L. Austin, 19th
House District

                                Amy White, Virginia Western Dean of Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Specialized classes such as animal
science,  plant science and forestry will
provide students the basic skills needed to maintain livestock, land and
forests. Other classes in the program, such as agribusiness and welding can
provide skills needed to handle farm finances and farm maintenance or provide
an avenue of additional income.

“Agriculture is interwoven into the
history of our region, which is home to more than 4,000 farms,” Austin said.
“Virginia Western’s Ag program will ensure that farming remains one of our
cornerstone industries for decades to come.”

In addition to launching the
Agriculture Program, Virginia Western will also announce a new guaranteed
transfer agreement between the program and Ferrum College’s Agricultural
Sciences major. Students completing the Virginia Western Agriculture Program
will be able to begin as a junior at Ferrum and focus on the emphasis areas of
Animal Science, Agribusiness, Agronomy, Horticulture and Equine Studies.  

On the day prior to the kick off,
VWCC faculty will be participating in the Virginia-North Carolina AgBio
Conference in Danville. This meeting will convene policy makers, farmers,
thought leaders, educators, public health officials and industry partners to bring
innovative bioscience and technology to the farms. 

“As a 6th generation
farmer in this region, the launch of this program really touches my heart
because I know how much of a difference it will make in putting students on the
path to personal and professional success,” White said. “The local agriculture
industry impacts our lives in countless ways on a daily basis, and by passing
on the best practices and most up-to-date knowledge and technology, we can
ensure it continues to thrive for decades to come. Agriculture is vital to the
health and economic success of our region, and it is our privilege to
contribute to this robust and dynamic industry. “

For more details about the
Agriculture Program, visit http://virginiawestern.edu/academics/stem/programs/sciagri.php or call the School of STEM at 540-857-7273.