ABAC Degree in Agricultural Technology and Systems Management Fills AET Need

Staff Report From Tifton CEO

Friday, July 12th, 2019

During the 111-year history of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, hundreds of graduates have earned a diploma in Agricultural Engineering Technology (AET).  For years, it was a popular two-year degree at ABAC, both among students and the employers who hired ABAC graduates from the program.

ABAC President David Bridges believes a new ABAC major in Agricultural Technology and Systems Management will quench the thirst of those students who want the AET background but need a four-year degree for their chosen profession.

“Jobs are available for students who complete this major,” Bridges said.  “These are the type of employees that companies are looking for.  These graduates have applied skills.  They have been in the shops.  They can solve problems in the field.

“Control systems, guidance systems, irrigation equipment.  These graduates are all over that type of thing.  I think farm equipment dealers such as John Deere, Caterpillar, R.W. Griffin, and Kelley Manufacturing Company will be looking for these graduates.”

Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the degree is a perfect fit for students and employers.

“The Agricultural Technology and Systems Management (ATSM) track of the Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture fills a critical need for students, and ultimately graduates, for technical careers in agriculture,” Kistler said.

 Kistler said the track is ideal for any student who has an interest in technical sales or management for an agricultural-related organization involving production, processing, or manufacturing.  Students will learn to combine an understanding of agricultural, biological, and physical sciences with business, managerial, and technical skills.

 The agricultural systems graduate identifies system problems, formulates possible solutions, analyzes the impact of alternatives, and then implements the best solutions.  When comparing agricultural systems to engineering, students may find that agricultural systems programs are less theoretical and more practical.  Emphasis is placed on hands-on experience with equipment.

The ABAC coursework focuses on four main areas: machinery systems, electrical systems, soil and water management, and precision agricultural technology.  Classes include Advanced Irrigation Systems Management, Power Equipment, Agricultural Machinery Systems, and Precision Agriculture.