Precise Program for Ag Alum
Precision Agriculture Technician is exclusive program to FVTC
Having grown up on her family’s dairy farm, Sheila Weninger knew that whatever she studied in college, she wanted a career in agriculture. Shortly after starting at Fox Valley Technical College, an elective class she chose would give her precise direction.
“I took Introduction to Precision Agriculture as an elective my first semester of college,” Sheila explains. “The class hooked me on precision agriculture. I like working with computers and this was a good fit for me.”
Sheila interned at Ballweg Implement Co., Inc. in Waupun while pursuing an associate degree in Agribusiness Science and Technology – Agronomy and a technical diploma in Precision Agriculture Technician.
“Precision Ag focuses on the technology of farm machines like tractors, combines, sprayers and other equipment,” Sheila explains. “The technology is used to record data so you know what is happening in the field at any time. It can also involve technology to control tractors, sprayers and combines to drive themselves. The technology creates efficiencies and reduces costs for farmers.”
After graduating in 2019, Sheila was hired full-time at Ballweg. She continues to apply her FVTC education to her job as a precision agriculture consultant.
“Every day is different; one day I can be on the road, helping customers troubleshoot or install new equipment,” Sheila says. “Or, I can be in the office and remoting into their machines to see what is going on.
“With a shortage of labor, precision agriculture has an opportunity to continue to grow. Autonomy is right around the corner. When customers are busy in the fields, they may run into issues with their equipment. With our tools and technology, we can quickly get them back up and running.”
Precision Agriculture Technician at FVTC is a one-of-its-kind program throughout the Wisconsin Technical College System. FVTC has a 100% employment rate within 6 months of graduation with an average salary of $32,500. The 30-credit technical diploma prepares students for careers in:
- Agricultural Equipment Sales
- Agriculture Equipment Operator
- Agriculture Service Technician
- Agronomy Sales/Service
- Custom Crop Applicator
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
- Precision Ag Specialist