BOTTINEAU, N.D. — Faculty and Students from Dickinson State University traveled to Dakota College at Bottineau to take a look at agriculture in a different way than is normally thought of in western North Dakota. DCB provides skills and knowledge in controlled environmental agriculture.
Such environments include greenhouse technology, floral design, aquaponics, hydroponics and vegetable production in high tunnels.
Dakota College at Bottineau’s Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture (ECH) and Dickinson State University’s (DSU) Agriculture and Technical Studies program received an USDA National Institute of Agriculture grant to expand the agriculture industry in North Dakota through programs in higher education.
The project will increase education and outreach opportunities in specialty crop production through a collaboration between DCB and DSU. DCB has an established program that prepares students and clients to run successful specialty crop enterprises and offers a Certification and Associates degree in Specialty Crop Production; the only program of this kind on the Northern Great Plains.
DSU’s Agriculture and Technical studies program is a traditionally focused four-year agriculture program. Collaboration between the schools capitalizes on each program’s strengths to increase the quality of agriculture education in both institutions.
The project enhances agricultural education by deepening student awareness and understanding of the diversity and complexity of modern agriculture and food systems. This project takes principles of specialty crop production developed for Dakota College’s two-year vocational-training focused program and integrates them across many disciplines within Dickinson State University’s agricultural curriculum.
This collaboration provides an innovative solution to the lack of specialty crop agricultural education and both broadens the scope and makes agricultural education accessible to a greater number of students. Building a partnership that capitalizes on Dickinson State University’s strong agricultural program and Dakota College’s existing curriculum in specialty crop production is a more effective and efficient way of increasing specialty crop educational opportunities than if either institution of higher education were to attempt to develop a new and separate sustainable agriculture program.