PCC’s Agriculture Program provides hands-on training and industry partnerships to guide student success

25 October 2019

Pratt Community College Agriculture instructor, Barrett Smith, has many goals for his classes this school year. His main goal, however, is to prepare students to have the skills to successfully transfer to a four-year institution or leave PCC with a job opportunity.

Smith joined the PCC Agriculture faculty at the start of the Fall 2018 semester. In the time he has been here he says that he wants students to be competitive in the industry and within their chosen career. He aims to help students be in a position with lots of opportunities and to help them develop their critical thinking skills and learn from real-world experience.

“There are many unique opportunities and we hope to add more in the future,” said Smith.

A few opportunities that the Agriculture Program is currently working on involves the recently acquired agriculture and rodeo land donated to the program last year. Ag Students are able to lend a working hand on the PCC farm including making agricultural related decisions when it comes to farm and ranch management. The hands-on experience helps the students form an understanding of the many different fields an ag student can focus on like agronomy, agribusiness and operations. Agriculture Power students also utilize the property to gain hands on exposure with diesel engine mechanics as well. The Ag and Rodeo property are in the process of being renovated by Smith, ag students among others. Smith says that each day they are making progress on the farm and though it isn’t complete yet students are still getting a quality education inside and out of the classroom/farm.

“Different enterprises are currently working on the farm and others are still in process,” said Smith.

The Agriculture program has community partners and many outside donors that have allowed the program to expand into more hands on learning and facilities off campus. Skyland Grain, Pratt Feeders, Kanza Co-op, Farm Bureau, Pratt County Research and Extension, Kinchelo’s, Straub, BTI, Pratt Livestock, and many anonymous individual community donors and businessmen. The Ag program has also had classroom visits from members within organizations to talk to students, one of these organizations is Indigo Ag.

Smith says, the program partners and resources, they have access to is why he enjoys being an ag instructor.

 “Seeing the kids mature, watching them learn, and watching the class progress individually and as a whole,” said Smith. “This allows us to be able to accelerate material and teach at an advanced level.”

PCC offers an Agriculture program that has the great advantage of being located in one of the world's most productive ag regions, south central Kansas. Students are able to work first-hand with livestock and in production situations instead of just being taught skills and theories in a classroom. There are many classes and degree options for a student to choose at PCC. For more information about the Agriculture Department, please contact Lori Montgomery by calling 620-450-2186 or by email at lorim@prattcc.edu.

The mission of Pratt Community College is maximum student learning, individual and workforce development, high quality instruction and service, and community enrichment. PCC is proud to be a part of the community in Pratt, Kansas. With more than 80 years of history, PCC remains humbled to serve our community and students who come to build a foundation for their future. PCC is a two-year public, comprehensive community college and an area vocational school. For more information visit prattcc.edu or call us at 620-672-5641.