Members of the agricultural community recently met with West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) president Dr. Julie Post and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kristen Buoy, to start a discussion about the need for agricultural education in the West Georgia area.
Roughly 20 representatives from different areas of the ag industry attended the brainstorming session including local farmers, master gardeners, ag business professionals, and educators.
Post discussed the void in WGTC’s programming and the importance of receiving input from the people that would directly benefit from adding agricultural education to the College’s program offerings.
“The number one rule when establishing a new program is that it must result in viable jobs,” Post said. “Bringing you all to the table allows us to gather important information, straight from the source, on how the College can best support agriculture pathways and training in West Georgia and to ensure that you have an adequate and trained workforce.”
Local farmers Dr. Allison Key and her husband David attended the meeting and are excited about what WGTC is doing to further support agriculture in the community.
“As second-generation farmers, we are working hard to ensure our farm is sustainable and something that our children and grandchildren will continue,” Dr. Key said. “It is such an important heritage and legacy, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this.”
Clark David, Senior Vice President of AgSouth Farm Credit, represented the business side of the agriculture industry and expressed his appreciation to WGTC for leading the way.
“This agricultural education meeting was on point, and I appreciate West Georgia Technical College’s commitment to supporting farmers and agribusiness in Georgia,” Clark said. “By engaging farmers and ag business professionals in their footprint, WGTC is ensuring that their programs remain effective and relevant in meeting the needs of farmers today and into the future.”
The discussions and participation at the meeting left the College with a lot of valuable information and left Post and Buoy excited about the future of agricultural education at WGTC.
“I feel certain that given the landscape of agriculture in West Georgia, we should be at the table helping to train and produce workers,” Buoy said. “We want to support all industries and workforce needs in our area, including agriculture.”
West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers more than 120 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is one of the largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit westgatech.edu.