Written by The Business Journal Staff
PrecisionAg.com placed West Hills Community College (WHCC) Coalinga at No. 5 on a list of the 20 best precision agriculture programs in the United States, the only college listed in California.
Author Matt Hopkins published a list of the top 25 best universities for precision agriculture when he realized community colleges and tech schools had developed precision agriculture programs that were “successfully thriving before many of the major universities got on board.”
Hopkins created the list of top community colleges by surveying program heads to provide a self-assessment and peer review, which included listing the schools they think have the best reputation in education, hands-on training, and graduate job placement for precision agriculture.
“We try to demonstrate and incorporate technology from the farm into all of our courses, Terry Brase, director of West Hills Coalinga’s Farm of the Future said.
The Agriculture Science Technology program at West Hills provides fundamental skills in geospatial, remote imagery, telemetry, automation, programming, and software, within five specialized courses. Application of these technologies is provided in additional production, irrigation and industrial ag courses using crops from the WHCC Farm of the Future.
Stacked certificates also allow students to take technology courses as part of the Ag Science Technology degree and then add irrigation, HVAC, integrated pest management, heavy equipment, or any other certificate offered in the ag department as part of the two-year degree.