Robotics, Sensors, Circuits – Welcome To Dairy

It’s not just Hollywood, or the latest video game, that’s looking for “programmers” – how bout Wisconsin agriculture!

Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) will be the first in the Wisconsin Technical College System to offer a degree in Dairy Automation. The program is currently accepting applications and will begin in late August. Pam Jahnke visits with Dr. Sarah Mills-Lloyd, department chair of Agriculture at FVTC, about how they came up with the idea for the coursework, and who it’s appealing to.

Mills-Lloyd says that they were approached by leaders in the dairy industry that saw this as a growing field, and one that might attract a young, technically savvy audience. That’s when they started partnering with other instructors on campus that revolve around the technology element to start putting curriculum together.

Students will get hands-on expertise in agriculture and automation through courses in agriculture, electronics, computers, programming, robots, sensors and more. The Dairy Automation program will open doors to a variety of agriculture automation careers. Classes from a variety of fields, paired with experiences at FVTC’s partner farms, will provide the perfect combination to meet employers’ needs and students’ interests.

The program will also offer a unique, newly designed Spanish Language and Culture for Dairy course. It recognizes that graduates may need to work with Spanish speakers. The course will not only help with language barriers, but also give them a better understanding of the culture.

“Technological advances are bringing change to a great number of industries, and the agriculture industry is no exception,” notes Dr. Sarah Mills-Lloyd, department chair of Agriculture at FVTC. “As automation in the agriculture industry is becoming more common, employers are also facing employee shortages necessitating the educational offering.”