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RANGELY | More than 10 years ago the Rangely campus of Colorado Northwestern Community College began the exploring the addition of an agriculture program for students. What started with only an equine focus has grown to include a variety of agricultural topics and options to benefit students from an assortment of backgrounds and goals.
The agriculture program at CNCC was first presented on the Rangely campus in the 2014/2015 school year and currently offers two Associate of Science degree designations: animal science and agricultural business. The animal sciences focus introduces students to the livestock industry field with courses like introduction to animal science, anatomy and physiology, feeds and feeding and live animal and carcass evaluation. The agribusiness option focuses on the business aspect of animal and agriculture industries with students taking courses in Macroeconomics, Statistics, Agriculture Finance and Management and other specific industry classes.
Both designations come with an articulation agreement with Colorado State University allowing a student to transfer directly to CSU and continue toward their bachelor’s degree as a junior, following completion of the CNCC program.
The program currently has two full time and one adjunct instructors and approximately 10 students enrolled. While the number may seem small, Program director Meghan Davis believes it will continue to grow with time. Davis has big plans for the program including a wider diversity of courses and hands on experiences for students. She also aims to balance the needs of students seeking to expand their education to a Bachelor’s Degree and those preferring to enter the workforce following completion of their Associate’s Degree.
For now the program is seeking to increase their class and laboratory offerings, providing a balance between desk and barn work, ensuring students have plenty of opportunities to get their hands dirty. One way Davis hopes to do this is through local partnerships with area agriculturalists who would be open to working with students on topics such as breeding and animal health.
Those interested in the program are encouraged to check out CNCC’s website where they can view detailed course information.
By JEN HILL | firstname.lastname@example.org