Genesee Community College is pleased to announce a new agriculture class to its fall 2011 semester of coursework. The new Western New York Agriculture (AGR190) course is the first of its kind at Genesee and will involve a dynamical blend of classroom lectures and labs along with multiple field trips to local farms and agricultural-based businesses to provide extensive hands-on experience and onsite information gathering.
Among the topics for new AGR 190 course will be agronomy, animal care, integrated pest management, dairy, fruit, vegetable and organic food production, high-tech farming equipment, labor issues and conservation planning to name a few. Overall, the new class focuses on the challenge of feeding an ever-growing world population and the changes needed to increase food productivity through better crops and farming efficiencies. According to the AGR course coordinators and instructors: “If you eat, this course is for you.”
The Western New York Agriculture course has been developed in a collaborative effort shared by GCC and Cornell Cooperative Extension - Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team. Together, these educators are at the forefront of knowledge and new developments of what farmers in our area face each season, according to James Kingston, a specialist for Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team.
The course will not only explain critical aspects of today’s agriculture, but also take students right to the farms and many regional businesses that serve and depend on agriculture. Students will have the opportunity to observe all levels of employment and investigate agricultural career paths as they progress through the Western New York Agriculture course. Students will also use today's computer technology for a portion of the course. Online discussions, readings, assignments and assessments will be conducted through Genesee's Blackboard computer system.
“We’re so excited to be able to offer a course of this relevance,” Kingston said. “Our area has diverse agricultural needs that will face many challenges as production must continue to grow in the future in response to population growth.”
The topics course will delve into agriculture’s economic impact in our region as well as touching on bioengineering, environmental issues, harvesting, storage and distribution, the biology of livestock, grazing, farm economies, and agricultural careers. Half of the classes will be farm field trip exercises to develop a comprehensive understanding of the importance and scope of the agriculture industry.
Serving the four county GLOW region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, GCC’s seven campus locations are in the heartland of New York’s most fertile and abundant agricultural area. From this strong farming base, GCC students will have a chance to embrace their farming community and truly understand how “AG business” is not only the backbone of the local economy but that these fertile valleys are intricately linked to its prosperous future.
“This course represents significant new opportunity for the both the College community and the agricultural community to fully engage one another in the teaching–learning process,” Maureen Leupold, GCC professor of Biology and Environment Science said. “The diversity of agriculture in western New York and its economic impact in the region is a topic of great concern and importance to all of us, and I am delighted that GCC students will soon be on the front lines of exploring this critical frontier.”
The AGR190 class will be held this fall semester on Mondays from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. in room C303. For further information on the AGR190 course, go to: http://www.genesee.edu/academics/catalog/AGR/190/201109/
To register for the class online go to: http://www.genesee.edu/depts/admissions/apply/
Professor Maureen Leupold can be reached via email at MALeupold@genesee.edu
or by calling 585-343-0055 x6394.
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Editor’s Note: A photograph of the key planners and coordinators of GCC’s new AGR190 / Western New York Agriculture course is available at: http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/AG_Team_GCC.jpg
Standing left to right are: James Kingston, a specialist for Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team, Dr. Eunice Bellinger, GCC Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; Maureen Leupold, GCC Biology Professor, and Dr. Michael J. Stanyard, Senior Associate for Field Crops and Soils at Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team.