Darin Kohlmeyer may be one of the only college professors around who isn’t constantly hassling his students to put their phones away.
As Program Chair of the Precision Ag Program at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, Koylmeyer is helping students learn about the technology required to be successful in today’s increasingly complex ag industry. And he’s not just helping students — executives running ag companies in the surrounding community are also heralding his efforts.
“It seems like everybody we talk to is glad our college is offering this because there’s such a need to prepare people who are getting into the workforce,” he says. “Students are realizing that Precision Ag is a great program. These kids grew up with technology and working on a computer is a natural fit — they’ve had a phone almost their whole life. They come in and say their dad doesn’t want to mess with this, but they do.”
Kohlmeyer is noticing that even students who don’t have an ag background are being drawn to the program. “They are interested in the technology and want to see how these two worlds can meet.”
Ivy Tech began its Precision Ag Program in 2015 and uses Trimble Ag Software’s educational solutions in its GIS classes, and will be leveraging it for farm data management classes in the future as well. The Teacher Guide and Student Workbook give students a first-hand look at the details of running a business, whether they have a farm background or not. Data used in the lessons are from real life experiences that your students will never forget. The program’s 15 lesson plans include a printable student workbook, precision ag data that is used with the student workbook, and a teacher guide. Each chapter provides students a hands-on learning experience with precision agriculture and farm business management.
Students Benefitting From Hands-On Experience
One of Kohlmeyer’s students who tried out other farm data management software offers said he liked Trimble’s streamlined approach. “I come from an area where there are a lot of older farmers not used to precision technologies, and I think this software is easiest to use and would be easier to explain how it would benefit them,” says Nathan Schneider.
According to Austin Smith, an Ivy Tech student from Missouri, Trimble’s farm data software platform is intuitive and easy to use: Start with your farm and location, add the particular fields, enter the crops in each field, track your activities in that field. “It is very helpful in planning out your fields and having all of your information in one place where you can keep it all together,” said Smith. “If you get proficient enough at it, it is very streamlined.”
In the future, Kohlmeyer believes that his program will need to be renamed. “Ten years from now it won’t be called precision ag — it will just be the normal way you farm.”
For more information on Trimble Ag Software’s educational offering for colleges and university, please visit us today or call (800) 282-4103.