Fischer announces $450K USDA ag workforce training grant to Northeast Community College

Fischer announces $450K USDA ag workforce training grant to Northeast Community College
January 11th, 2022 | Office of Senator Deb Fischer

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today announced that Northeast Community College (NECC) will receive a $450,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant for an agricultural workforce training project.

Specifically, the grant will go to the following project at NECC: Ruraltech+ Training Program to Boost IT and Cybersecurity Skills in the Agricultural Workforce. This project will provide students with the skills and tools to develop the technical skills and credentials necessary to succeed in ag and tech-related jobs.

“This grant is an exciting federal investment that will connect Nebraska’s future ag and tech workforce with skills to succeed. I have had the pleasure of working closely with NECC over the years on increasing adoption of precision agriculture technologies. I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition and create opportunities for our students,” said Senator Fischer.

“This funding is important to help increase the efficiency and productivity of food production, as well as to guard against cyberattacks targeting our nation’s food supply. We are proud to partner with agricultural cooperatives across Nebraska to grow their IT workforce and create pathways for entry-level workers as well as incumbent workers to upskill and get the critical skills they need to support our agricultural system,” said Northeast Community College President Leah Barrett.

Precision agriculture is a wide range of new technologies in farming and ranching that can allow producers to reduce their environmental footprint, lower costs, and improve productivity. Senator Fischer has worked together with NECC to promote and expand the use of precision agriculture.

She introduced the bipartisan Precision Agriculture Loan Act. It would create a program within the USDA to provide loan financing to farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing precision agriculture equipment. Fischer also previously introduced bipartisan legislation that has passed the Senate to support research for better performance of advanced sensing systems and Internet of Things wireless technology in rural and agricultural areas. The research would specifically focus on improving device connectivity in rural and agricultural environments where communication networks and power often can be unreliable. A companion bill has passed the House of Representatives.

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