Skip to Main Content

Printed on 4/24/2018

Farm Operation

31-080-4 Technical Diploma (TD) 30 Credits Financial Aid Eligible Location*: Appleton

*Some general education courses may be available at multiple locations.

Do you want to be prepared to operate a farm some day? This program is designed for beginning farmers, farm technicians or herd managers. You’ll gain the skills needed to make sound business management decisions, care for livestock and crops, manage data, select appropriate equipment and maintain the needed equipment. Your training focuses on day-to-day farm activities and introduces you to the most up-to-date practices in production agriculture. This program runs from late fall to early spring to fit around planting and harvest.


*Course list for reference only. Current students please refer to your individualized program plan or see your advisor.

Occupational Specific (30 Credits)

Course Title
Course Number
Prior Learning Credit
Eligibility Options
Farm Business Management
Covers the practical use of farm record system(s) in managing the farm business and financial analysis. Topics include establishment of farm business goals, understanding financial statements, selection and use of farm credit, farm business arrangements, estate planning and understanding farm income taxes. Use of computers and computer records for financial analysis of farm business and finance strategy.
Feeding Modern Livestock Operations
Acquaints the student with the nutrients essential for livestock production and reproduction. Anatomy and physiology of digestion and absorption are discussed for single stomach and ruminant animals. Basic principles of feeding modern livestock will be discussed. Introduces the student to the mechanics of balancing livestock rations.
Precision Agriculture
Provides students with an introduction to common Precision Agriculture technologies used in crop production today. Topics include: satellite technology, hardware, data collection, variable rate control of seed, automatic section control, yield monitors, and new technologies in agriculture. The challenges and benefits of adopting Precision Agriculture technologies on the farm will also be discussed.
Tractor Preventive Maintenance
Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to do some general maintenance on diesel engines and electrical systems. Students will learn basic engine and electrical fundamentals.
Crop Management Principles
Covers the basic principles and management techniques for corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and small grains grown on Wisconsin farms. Includes information on field preparation, pest management, seed selection, and in season management of specific crops.
Agricultural Commodity Marketing
Explores crop, livestock, and dairy markets. Student develop an understanding of the basic principles of commodity marketing and the ability to apply these principles to the distribution of farm products. Commodity marketing strategies will be taught in order to reduce financial risk of farms.
Principles of Reproduction
Designed for the student who needs a comprehensive knowledge of dairy genetics and reproduction. Emphasis is on basic genetic principles and sire selection. Students will learn the anatomy and physiology of the bovine female and male reproductive tract and the management of the estrous cycle in cattle.
Harvesting Equipment
Provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform maintenance and adjustments associated with grain and forage harvesting equipment. Students will learn the principles of operation for both forage and grain harvesting equipment.
Soil Principles and Fertility
Acquaints the student with the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil in relation to fertility, soil health and good soil management. The students will collect soil samples and identify fertility needs from soil test reports. Nutrient management planning will be taught.
Herd Health and Management
Covers the herd health and reproductive systems of dairy and livestock animals from birth to maturity. The class will cover various herd health problems, including mastitis, milk fever and similar common livestock health problems. A herd health and reproductive management program will be developed which covers the herd population from calves to mature cows.
Farm and Dairy Records
Focuses on management skills and concepts that beginning producers need. Emphasis is given in establishing and recording farm business records, business and family goals. Entire farming operation is assessed and plans are developed for farm management decisions. Dairy Comp 305 and PCDART will be covered to teach herd management skills.
Agricultural Planting Systems
Provides students with an understanding of operation and maintenance of planting systems. Topics will include parts identification, planter function, calibrations, planter monitors, and general maintenance.
Select a total of 3 credits from these options
Agribusiness Work Experience
Provides independent agribusiness work experience in cooperation with an employer and FVTC. Students are evaluated by the employer and supervised during the work experience by a FVTC instructor. Department consent required.
Farm Business, Operating a
Focuses on management skills and concepts that first-year students need to continue farming in today's changing technology. Emphasis is given in establishing and recording farm business records and family goals. Students will organize and maintain farm business records and analyze them to make sound farm management decisions. Entire farming operation is assessed and plans are developed for future needs and goals. Classes are held throughout the year and include classroom and on-farm instruction.
Select a total of 3 credits from these options
Dairy/Livestock Artificial Insemination Records & Management
Teaches students about the anatomy and physiology of cattle reproduction and artificial insemination of the bovine species. Topics include estrous cycle and reproductive records management, nutrition, animal fertility, herd health and sire selection. Site visits will be used to practice estrous detection, insemination techniques and computer analysis. Hands-on computer training with Dairy Comp 305 and PCDART will focus on development of herd protocols and their analysis.
Crop Scouting Training
Includes hands-on identification and management of insects, diseases and seedling weeds found in Wisconsin crops. Crop development and herbicide damage issues will also be covered.

Tell Me More

Thank you for your interest in Fox Valley Tech. Still have questions about our programs? Fill out this short form.


Tell Me More

To better assist you, please tell us which of the following best describes you.


Tell Me More

66% Complete

Tell Me More



Thank you!
Your request has been
successfully submitted

A specialist from our team will be in touch with you shortly. In the meantime, check out our upcoming events and the latest news at:

A specialist from our team will be in touch with you shortly. In the meantime, you may wish to check out our videos, digital viewbook and international webpage for more information.

A specialist from our team will be in touch with you shortly.

Many answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found in the MyFVTC area of the website.

You may wish to bookmark and refer to this section in the future for the quickest answers.