MTI expands farm and ranch business management program
July 16, 2010
The Farm and Ranch Business Management program at Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) is in the process of expanding the program to reach much of eastern South Dakota. With the addition of a third instructor and the movement to online-based instruction, the expansion is underway and plans to start enrolling farm families are in process.
Current instructors Roger DeRouchey and Calvin Pietz have been localized to a 90-mile radius of Mitchell until now. With the addition of Lori Christensen, former agriculture teacher at Madison High School, the school plans to move the entire curriculum online and enroll 40-50 new participants to begin instruction in 2011. If the transition goes as planned, the program will be adding additional instructors in northeast South Dakota and western South Dakota as the expansion progresses.
“This program is the hidden gem of agriculture management in the State. The average net cash income of participants in the program is 35 percent higher and net cash income per acre is three percent higher than that of those South Dakota producers not participating in the program according to the 2007 USDA/NASS Census. The resources that our instructors provide to individual farm families in helping them achieve success are invaluable. I firmly believe this expansion will be a great asset for the entire state when completed,” said MTI President Greg Von Wald.
The Farm and Ranch Business Management program has partnered with Farm Credit Services of America to help with farm family recruitment and the use of office space to work regionally with participants. South Dakota Pork Producers Council, South Dakota Wheat Commission, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council have also partnered with Mitchell Technical Institute to ensure that the expansion is successful.