MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology Adds New Community College Partner Bay College in Escanaba
The Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) added Bay College as a new community college partner offering valuable agricultural experiences for students in the Upper Peninsula, to further their education locally.
The partnership between Bay College and IAT will provide individuals in the Escanaba area with the opportunity to complete the associate degree in agriculture from Bay College with an agricultural operations IAT certificate as part of the MSU program.
IAT has around 495 students enrolled across the state and this year celebrates 125 years of delivering innovative, hands-on educational programs in agricultural, environmental and applied technologies. More broadly, IAT supports workforce development in Michigan by offering relevant, specialized training on campus in East Lansing and at community college partner locations across the state.
“The partnership between IAT and Bay College will provide individuals in the area with the opportunity to receive training in agriculture without the need to come to East Lansing. Students will have the opportunity to receive education that is practical, affordable, respected and delivered locally,” said IAT Director Randy Showerman. Showerman is also serving as the interim program coordinator at Bay College until a coordinator is hired locally.
Bay College IAT students will learn from and network with local experts in small classes with opportunities for one-on-one support.
“Students graduating with this degree and certificate will be prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities in agriculture. From small farming operations to large agribusiness operations, students will have a broad spectrum of career paths,” said Matthew J. Barron, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Bay College. “Our electives allow students to custom design their program so that they can be prepared to work on a farm, perform research either academically or industrially, or run operations on a larger scale.”
Michigan Farm Bureau and MSU Extension were instrumental in helping establish the partnership with Bay College by identifying programs to offer and key individuals to work with in addition to supporting student recruitment.
“We have had strong communication with MSU for quite some time and have had some students travel down to MSU to further their schooling,” said Paul Putnam. Putnam is the MSU Extension District 1 Director covering the central and western counties of the Upper Peninsula. “We want to make life easier and financially affordable for more students to further their schooling in agriculture.”