UACCB announces new ag program

a collage of farming images

The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville has completed the approval process for a new agriculture technology program. Classes will begin this spring semester. The program received approval from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Oct. 27.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our students,” said Zach Harber, director of workforce development and education. “Agriculture is the economic driver in our area, and it’s the largest reaching industry in all career fields. The internship opportunities that are a part of our new agriculture program will open numerous doors to career opportunities of the students’ choice.”

The program includes certificate of proficiencies in four main focus areas – animal science, plant science, soil science and agriculture business – as well as an agriculture technology technical certificate and an agriculture technology associate of science degree.

“The program provides a very targeted experience,” Harber said. “Students will have labs that will provide hands-on training in their chosen career field which will then be reinforced by the internship opportunities. Courses will be taught by highly qualified professionals in their field of study who are members of the local agriculture industry.”

Dr. Brian Shonk, vice chancellor for academics, said UACCB has partnered with Arkansas State University in Jonesboro to provide interested students with a seamless path to a bachelor’s degree in their desired agriculture career field. Students earning the agriculture technology associate’s degree will be able to transfer into ASU’s agriculture program to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Harber said the college was grateful for the support of area business farms and the local agriculture industry in developing the program including the Independence County office of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Arkansas Livestock and Forestry Research Station and other local agriculture programs.

UACCB also was approved to begin a Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni Chapter that will be open to not only students but also members of the community. Harber and Becky Warren, career and disability services coordinator, will be advisors for the chapter.

“It will be a great way for students as well as those in the community interested in agriculture to gain leadership experience, personal development and support local FFA chapters,” Harber said.

Registration for new or readmitted students begins Nov. 16. Spring classes begin Jan. 10. For more information on the agriculture program, contact Harber at 870-612-2081. For more information on registration or to apply, visit www.uaccb.edu, call 870-612-2139 or email admissions@uaccb.edu.