|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Assistance to Coal Communities||2||$2,825,100|
|Research and Evaluation||1||$1,399,048|
Terre Haute, IN - Indiana, like the rest of the country, is seeing an increase in the average age of its farm workers. Industries increasingly need to harness available technology to cope with the loss of experienced workers to improve their operational efficiencies and be environmentally friendly. One area where that is occurring involves using geospatial technology to drive efficiencies in crop planting, fertilizing and harvesting. Ivy Tech has gained approval from the Indiana Commission on Higher Education to begin offering a new certificate and degree program to complement current offerings in Agriculture, Electronics, Computer Technology and Diesel Technology programs. The demand for such a program was demonstrated not only through the support and expressed concern from many local agricultural producers but also through the College’s own research and analysis.
In April 2017, EDA invested $1,181,047 in Public Works funds to Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana to help construct a new Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology Center of Excellence located in Terre Haute (Vigo County). The new endeavor will focus on the intersection of geospatial technology and the field crop agricultural industry with a goal of training individuals for this growing sector in the Midwest. The Center of Excellence will attract those lacking the agricultural background to pursue a career in the farming industry and address the talent pipeline needs in the region.
The proposed project will create a training program that will result in technical certificates for agricultural equipment service technicians, precision agriculture specialists and technicians as well as an associate’s degree of applied science in precision agriculture equipment technology. The project is anticipated to create 127 jobs and retain 1,186 jobs in the region. Enhancing the use of precision agriculture technology will allow U.S. farmers to increase yields on less ground and reduce the use of environmentally impactful chemicals.