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VTC Adds Two New Agriculture Programs

Randolph — Vermont Technical College has added two agriculture programs through its Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems.

The Summer Diversified Agriculture Program and the Cold Climate Viticulture Series will be offered for the first time this spring and summer.

“The Institute uses a cooperative learning model to provide programs resulting in high-wage, high-skill employment in our state’s most important sectors – agriculture and food systems,” Phil Conroy, president of Vermont Tech, said in a recent news release. “These two summer programs offer individuals a unique opportunity to become qualified and skilled experts in diversified agriculture and viticulture.”

The Institute, which provides hands-on education to students, farmers, and agricultural specialists, is made possible by a $4.6 million Department of Labor grant, the college said.

The Summer Diversified Agriculture Program, set for June 23 to Aug. 14, is an intensive study of sustainable agriculture methods backed by science. It includes hands-on, practical experiences in business management planning, vegetable and fruit crop management, poultry and dairy husbandry, and service learning experiences on Vermont farms. Students will also work in Vermont Tech’s organically managed vegetable farm and working dairy operation. The registration deadline is June 9.

The Cold Climate Viticulture Series is a four-session viticulture and enology program that includes topics in vineyard establishment and management, grape and wine chemistry, and basic wine processing. The individual courses are designed to help growers with little or no previous grape growing experience. Each session will provide seasonal skills needed to operate and manage a vineyard and provide basic wine making techniques. The spring course will be held from April 15-17, and the summer course from June 3-5, with registration deadlines of April 1 and May 20, respectively. For more information, go to www.vtc.edu/agricultureinstitute or call 802-728-1677. — Staff report