To help advance an already strong education-industry connection, 29 agricultural partners recently committed to a new Ridgewater College Ag Industry Partner Sponsorship program, facilitated by the Ridgewater College Foundation and the Ridgewater Agriculture Department. They backed up their commitment by donating $37,500, plus in-kind contributions exceeding $30,000.
Industry partners support Ridgewater’s 10 ag programs in so many ways, including equipment and supply donations, internships, participation in career fairs and ag expos, and volunteering as classroom presenters and guest speakers.
“We have such great industry partners in our region,” said Tammy Howe, Ridgewater Agriculture Coordinator. “Our new sponsorship program gives industry partners an opportunity to increase their business’s visibility and enhance brand awareness to Ridgewater students who are potential future employees and customers. It also provides enhanced career exploration avenues for our students through networking, collaboration, mentorship, and more.”
Community partnerships across all areas of the college are essential to the success of the institution and the success of students, explained Kelly Magnuson, Ridgewater Vice President for Advancement & Outreach and Foundation Executive Director.
“We’re excited about the overwhelming response to this new program – it’s a win-win for the college and the partners and really highlights the industry’s confidence in our agriculture programs,” Magnuson said.
Ridgewater’s Agriculture Department, which is the largest two-year program in Minnesota, includes 10 programs, everything from agribusiness and agronomy applicator technician to dairy and farm management, poultry, precision agriculture, and now meat cutting.
“It’s really about engaging and connecting,” said Jeff Miller, Ridgewater dean of instruction. “We want to ensure the next generation of ag professionals know about the wide variety of exciting employment opportunities and resources that are out there.”
Donated funds will be used for new program equipment and student technology, a new Precision Technology trailer to help promote ag programs to high school students, and other expanded outreach and program support initiatives. Donations to the program are 100% tax deductible through the Ridgewater College Foundation.
“The Industry Partner Sponsorship program from Ridgewater College is an amazing opportunity for Form-A-Feed to support the future of agriculture in our area,” said Sarah Kuechle of Form-A-Feed. “For years, we have enjoyed working with their faculty to provide unique learning opportunities for students. Many of our current customers and customers’ children have benefited immensely from the phenomenal, hands-on curriculum provided at Ridgewater and we are proud to support it officially, as an Industry Partner.”
To learn more about the Ridgewater Ag Industry Partner Sponsorship program, contact Tammy Howe at [email protected] or go to https://ridgewater.edu/alumni-friends/ridgewater-college-foundation/ag-sponsors/.