In an open letter issued on Feb. 21, the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers and Equipment Dealers Assn. are initiating a program to steer students to the equipment side of agriculture and build a qualified ag technical workforce.

The majority of agriculture students today are focused on animal and plant sciences, not the equipment sector. You have the opportunity to help make students in your area aware and excited about the equipment side of the industry.

In an effort to steer more students toward our sector and build a better qualified technical workforce, AEM, in partnership with Equipment Dealers Assn., is increasing the number of equipment-specific agriculture courses being taught in high schools today. 

We are doing this by offering agriculture educators scholarships to be certified in equipment-specific courses offered through the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE).Teachers have earned more than 2500 certifications since the launch of CASE. Only about 90 of those are in equipment-specific courses. Teachers are typically responsible for their own certification courses and travel costs. We aim to increase the number of certifications by offering partial scholarships for Agricultural Power & Technology and Mechanical Systems in Agriculture courses. Those courses would begin in fall of 2018.

If 40 teachers reach 25 students each, we will have spread the message on opportunities in the agriculture equipment sector to 1,000 additional students in one short year. And you can easily be a part of that.

We will let you know if a teacher in your area applies for the $2,000 scholarship which will cover about half of their total costs for certification. To help build your local workforce and grow your presence in your community, you may want to take the opportunity to:

  • Reach out to a teacher and invite them to your facility to help them understand the course content. 
  • Invite a teacher to bring their class to visit your facility once they are teaching the course in fall of 2018.
  • Offer to speak to students in their classroom to talk about the opportunities in our industry and in your company.
  • Provide a scholarship match or additional amount to fully cover the teacher’s certification.

Please contact me with questions or for more information.

Anita Sennett
Senior Director, Agriculture Services
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) 
6737 W. Washington St., Ste 2400
Milwaukee, WI 53214