Learn. Grow. Do.

Career Connections

The Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture is leading the newest educational and employment opportunities initiative in the Career Connections at the Minnesota State FFA Convention each year. The event features multiple institutions showcasing the many career pathways and opportunities in agriculture. Each year this event features an agriculture simulator, drone (UAV) demonstrations, giveaways and visits with Ag, Food and Natural Resources career professionals. The Minnesota State FFA Convention has over 3,000 FFA members throughout Minnesota in attendance, and takes place at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus.

Award Recipients


Central Lakes College

Central Lakes College is a full-service, comprehensive community and technical college serving about 6,000 students per year. We offer a mix of technical and community college programs and courses from campuses in Brainerd and Staples in Central Minnesota. We are proud of our career and college transfer programs, our continuing and customized training offerings, and the broad array of student life activities that we provide including athletics, student organizations, music and theater. Our rapidly developing on-line programs allow students to accomplish your educational goals in the privacy of your own home or office. In addition, we have a number of cooperative agreements with regional universities that allow students to effortlessly transfer or even continue your degree right here at CLC. While some graduates of Central Lakes College transfer to Minnesota state universities or other colleges to complete four-year degrees, other students at our college take a career path chosen from more than 70 professional programs leading immediately to rewarding employment.

Agriculture related programs and certificates offered at CLC include: Agricultural Science, Farm Business Management, Enology, Environmental Studies, Floral Design, Horticulture, Landscape Technology, Natural Resources, Natural Resource Law Enforcement, Specialty Crops Management, Sustainable Greenhouse Production, Viticulture, Wildlife Tourism, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology, Robotics/Automated Systems Technology and Welding and Fabrication.

Visit Website

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Minnesota West Community and Technical College recently named one of the top 150 Colleges in the Country.  Agriculture programs are completely online during harvest season so you can participate in harvest while continuing your education.  Multiple Agriculture programs offered: Agriculture Business, Management and Marketing, Plant Science (GIS/GPS), Production, Production Management, and Production Agriculture. Your future is bright with us schedule a visit today at one of our many campus locations: Worthington, Jackson, Granite Falls, Canby, Pipestone, or Luverne. http://www.mnwest.edu/index.php/visit-us/schedule-a-visit

Visit Website

Ridgewater College

Students at Ridgewater College may pursue an education in five different agricultural programs leading to a diploma or an AAS degree. With the collaborative nature of the Ag Dept, students have the flexibility to pursue interests in various Ag. Electives to reach their career goals.  Additionally, two transfer degrees offer the first two years at Ridgewater leading to the completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in various agriculture majors at a four-year college.

Ridgewater Ag Dept students benefit from: Curriculum established cooperatively with industry, 4 opportunities for internship during the 2 yr program, Instructors with industry experience who care about student success,  Hands-On Learning on Ridgewater’s School Farm and in our new state of the art facilities.  The combination of our proven education with 100% placement of graduates and our award-winning student agricultural leadership program (PAS) gives our graduates the edge in their Ag Careers

Visit Website

Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester Community and Technical College has a wonderful equine science program just 75 minutes south of the Twin Cities. Our program has riding classes, field trips, internships, lots of hands-on learning, an IHSA team, wonderful faculty, and small class sizes.  An instructor and students will be present under the tent to talk to you about our program, horses, facilities, and classes.  We can discuss which classes are required for each degree option, the type of riding classes that are available and show pictures of our horses and facilities.  We will have a dead horse leg to show you the bones, ligaments, and tendons inside. We will have feed samples to identify, and a saddle that has been dissected so you can see its inner workings! Contact Julie Christie  by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 507-280-5960 for more information.

Horticulturists work with plants and people in exciting and rewarding career opportunities. Consider if you became the head of landscape management at Sea World™, Target Field, or the Mall of America™! Maybe you will design a healing garden offering comfort to cancer patients at the local hospital. Perhaps you will create a treatment that stops pests (such as the Emerald Ash Borer) from killing hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. The possibilities are endless. Confucius once said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Horticulturists work with and for the land, and love what they do. Visit the Rochester Community and Technical College booth and learn more about opportunities in the Horticulture industry.

Visit Website

South Central College

The South Central College Agribusiness Department is dedicated to preparing individuals for careers in agriculture.  Agriculture is a diverse, challenging, exciting industry.  It needs people who have a passion for the importance of the industry and are excited about the promising future it offers.  The teaching philosophy of the agribusiness faculty of SCC is an aggressive "hands-on" approach to learning.  A goal of the department is "students first" and for each learner to have success in gaining employment.
Agriculture / Agribusiness remains the number one industry in Minnesota. Opportunities in agriculture and ag-related businesses abound! In addition, the need for Agribusiness Educators is approaching a critical stage.
Our 2+2 Partnership with the University of Minnesota allows you to take two years of agribusiness training at SCC and transfer all your credits to a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Education. The bottom line is that SCC students succeed and qualified graduates have dozens of job opportunities available to them upon completion of their training. If you are passionate about agriculture and the future opportunities that the agricultural industry provides, South Central College looks forward to partnering with you to assist you in preparing for a career in the industry of agriculture

Visit Website

Southwest Minnesota State University

Southwest Minnesota State University’s (SMSU) School of Agriculture offers 5 degrees in Agricultural Solutions, Agronomy, Agribusiness Management, Agriculture, and brand new– Agricultural Education with either Teacher Licensure Specialization or Communications, Marketing and Leadership Specialization. Come take a short, fun quiz to learn your potential Ag career personality and win a prize!
Southwest Minnesota State University’s School of Agriculture positions that University to fulfill its true potential to serve a region that has a very strong ag economy. The School of Agriculture is multi-faceted and has a strong presence in the region to serve the needs of the industry. The great thing about our School of Agriculture is that it offers a lot of different options students can pursue. While creating our newer majors, we consulted with a number of industry leaders who understand what skills and knowledge students should possess when they graduate. We will be bringing information regarding each program that we have here at Southwest Minnesota State University and will be available to answer any questions.  In addition to offering Ag related programs, SMSU also offers the only four-year Culinology program in the United States. Culinology is the combination of Culinary Arts and Food Science.

Visit Website

St. Cloud Technical and Community College

St. Cloud Technical and Community College is located in the heart of Central Minnesota, just one block from the banks of the Mississippi River. Our St. Cloud community is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Minnesota, featuring the best in education, healthcare, business services, cultural and recreational activities as well as public transportation. We are a one-hour drive to the Twin Cities metro area. Faculty from our construction electrician and land surveying and civil engineering program will be in attendance.  They will be bringing hands-on demonstrations that will help students to understand their programs and opportunities in their career field.

Visit Website

 Northland College 

Northland is a comprehensive college, offering many state-of-the-art, nationally-renowned technical programs designed for those looking to quickly join the work force. Northland also has a liberal arts college program which offers students the first two years of a bachelor's degree.

Visit Website

Inver Hills Community College 

Inver Hills is a comprehensive community college. We offer courses in 50 academic disciplines, with options for transfer to four-year colleges and career-related degrees. Inver Hills is home to an exciting new initiative – we offer thousands of dollars in scholarships for students pursuing agricultural careers, with money that can follow students to four year transfer partners.

Come play in the dirt: If you are a student entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade, the Summer Academy for Environmental, Food & Agricultural Sciences at Inver Hills offers the opportunity to spend one week exploring career opportunities in the environmental, food and agricultural sciences.

Visit Website



Advancing agricultural though education is central to the future well-being and prosperity of the world. More than ever, agriculture is an industry that uses science, technology, cutting-edge applications and advanced production practices to become increasingly efficient and meet evolving needs. As technology continues to shape our industry, the potential for workforce training, customized education and partnerships will grow. Students must be prepared for agricultural careers on farms, in laboratories, in factories and in all aspects of business and government. Growers will need to utilize best practices through access to education, timely information, and customized training. Future leaders need to be equipped to tackle 21st century challenges – as practitioners and policymakers, innovators and advocates, educators and entrepreneurs. Minnesota can help lead the way – by joining forces to develop and deliver the best education for and about agriculture. That's what AgCentric is all about.

Visit Website

Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture 

The Center serves to promote and establish agricultural education excellence in Minnesota across the industry. We work to establish partnerships with key businesses and organizations in the agriculture industry to meet workforce demands and training needs. We provide opportunities through degrees, internships, professional development, customized training and continued education to sustain the workforce needs in Southern Minnesota. 

 Visit Website

The Minnesota Energy Center

The Minnesota Energy Center is a collaboration of ten Minnesota State Colleges and Universities around the state.  Sponsored by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, we work on career awareness, training programs for high school educators, and collaboration with industry leaders across the energy industry.

Visit Website



Print   Email