North Dakota State College of Science adds 2 ag-related degrees

Students at the college in Wahpeton, North Dakota, will be able to get two-year applied science degrees in precision agronomy and precision agriculture technician starting in the fall of 2023.

Craig Zimprich.png
Craig Zimprich leads the North Dakota State College of Science ag program.
Evan Girtz / Agweek

WAHPETON, N.D. — North Dakota State College of Science is adding two agriculture-related degree programs.

Students will be able to get two-year applied science degrees in precision agronomy and precision agriculture technician starting this fall.

The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education approved the new degree programs that are aimed at meeting industry needs and the demand from students wanting to pursue careers in agriculture.

The precision agronomy degree is a two-year, 69-credit program that will prepare students to use precision technology to guide agriculture production decisions.

“Graduates will have the ability to use technology like mapping to make the best agronomic choices on their farms or when working with a producer through an agronomy center,” Craig Zimprich, chairman of the college's Agriculture Department, said in a news release.


Currently, the NDSCS Agriculture Department offers emphasis options in agronomy and precision agriculture. This new program will merge the options and expand into a standalone associate degree.

The curriculum will include courses in plant and soil sciences, agriculture sales, field crop scouting, software, data management and business management.

The precision agriculture technician degree is a two-year, 69-credit program focused on agriculture equipment. Students will be trained in selling, installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting precision hardware and software on agriculture equipment.

The college worked with industry partners and heavy equipment dealerships to develop the program.

North Dakota State College of Science offers agriculture related degrees at its Wahpeton, North Dakota campus.
Mikkel Pates / Agweek

Zimprich said graduates will help fill a void between the producer and the equipment dealership. The curriculum will include courses in agronomy, sales and agriculture business, precision agriculture, and heavy equipment electrical and hydraulics.

“When we talk to students about this program, their eyes light up because it’s ag and equipment. There’s a lot of students who like that idea,” Zimprich said.

First-year student Hunter Albert of Barnesville, Minnesota, will be one of the first graduates in the precision agriculture technician degree program.

“I’ve always wanted to be on the technology side of farming, working on equipment,” Albert said in the news release. “It’s where the future is in farming.”


Sponsored by Titan Machinery, Albert plans to complete the degree requirements next spring.

Students like Bryce Moen and Drew Suby, who were enrolled in agricultural programs at North Dakota State College of Science, in Wahpeton, got hands-on experience from instructors like Anissa Hoffman during their time there in 2021.
Photo courtesy of North Dakota State College of Science

Students in both new programs will get training at the NDSCS Kosel Family Agriculture Land Lab, a 90-acre demonstration farm near the Wahpeton campus. Students will also need to complete a 400-hour paid internship between their first and second years of instruction.

In addition to the two new degrees, NDSCS will continue to offer an associate of applied science degree in agriculture with emphasis options in farm management, ranch management, animal science, and ag business, along with a certificate in meat processing .

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