MSU and WSCC partner to develop and retain homegrown ag talent

August 21, 2017

MSU and WSCC partner to develop and retain homegrown ag talent

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — West Shore Community College (WSCC) has partnered with the Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) to offer two-year agricultural technology certificates at WSCC’s Mason County campus.  Certificates are available in agricultural operations and fruit and vegetable crop management.

These certificate programs allow students to enroll at both institutions while pursuing a certificate from Michigan State, an associate’s degree from WSCC, and attending their MSU agricultural technology classes on the Victory Township campus.

Students who complete the agricultural technology certificate at WSCC will have the choice of entering the work force or transferring to MSU to complete a bachelor’s degree program.  Students with a 3.0 GPA or greater are guaranteed admission into the four-year agricultural program at MSU.

“These agriculture technology certificates were brought to WSCC with the support of the Western Michigan agriculture industry.  This is a growing industry and employers are having difficulty finding skilled individuals to fill their positions,” said Dr. Mark Garrison, regional program coordinator. “The IAT certificates are designed to provide people an affordable option to develop the skills to fill those positions.”

Dr. Randy Showerman, director of the IAT, said approximately 90 percent of IAT graduates go on to work in the agricultural industry while 10 percent go on to a four-year degree.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone in West Michigan that is interested in a career in agriculture or transferring to MSU for a four-year degree,” Showerman said.

Students enrolled in the program will learn practical knowledge and training in skills such as precision agriculture, nutrient/pest management, farm management, crop scouting and more.

One of the newest classes for students in the IAT program teaches students the skills necessary to build, maintain, and operate unmanned aircraft (drones) for agricultural applications such as crop scouting and pesticide applications.

Anyone who enjoys working outdoors, growing plants, or starting an agricultural business can learn more about this new program offering by contacting Garrison at (231), or

Registration for West Shore Community College’s fall semester is underway for first-time, returning, and guest students and will continue to the first week of each term’s classes. The fall semester begins August 28 and ends December 15.

Class and online course schedules can be viewed under the “Course search” tab on

Those interested in registering for classes or who have questions about the application and enrollment process can also contact the Student Services Office at (231) 843-5510.

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