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Advanced Search & AgrowKnowledge compete for National Award
February 02, 2009

AgrowKnowledge highlighted for being “change agent” in agricultural education. 

A creative educational initiative based at Kirkwood Community College was recently honored as a finalist in a national competition. The AgrowKnowledge center at Kirkwood is one of ten finalists for the Bellwether Awards from the Community College Futures Assembly.
The national consortium of colleges and universities draws from the expertise of educators, researchers and business partners alike to build new course materials, teaching methods and innovative instructors to advance improvements in agriculture teaching at the high school, two-year college and university levels. is proud to be one of those industry partners to help drive these initiatives for the future of agriculture and agribusiness.  

AgrowKnowledge Director and Co-Principal Investigator Rick Parker says the national consortium is based on shared information and new ideas.

“Kirkwood had the foresight and benefit of widespread support to launch AgrowKnowledge seven years ago. As a group of educators and industry partners, we have learned a lot and had great opportunities since 2001. We appreciate the vote of confidence of the Futures Assembly by choosing us as a finalist from so many good programs and projects in the U.S.,” he said.

Parker also cited the many changes in “the traditional image and approaches” to ag education that AgrowKnowledge seeks to update and improve.

“In ag circles they sometimes refer to traditional production agriculture as ‘cows, plows and sows.’ For those of us looking to the future, we see many wider opportunities. GPS tools, biotechnology and new information processes are some of the many tools the ag professionals of today and tomorrow will use to feed, clothe and support America and the world,” he added.

AgrowKnowledge representatives along with Team Member Ashley Collins, competed at the annual Community College Futures Conference in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 24-27, 2009.

Among the many initiatives explored in the past seven years, AgrowKnowledge is most widely recognized for developing new teaching methods and curriculum in: Environment, Natural Resources and Security; Biotechnology; Geospatial Technologies; and Energy for Agriculture. The center continues to provide planning events, workshops, curriculum materials, and Web-based training and information. Partners and center users include a network of community colleges, universities and other interested parties across the nation.

Since its inception, AgrowKnowledge has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.


AgrowKnowledge Representatives with Bellwether finalist award at the 2009 Community Colleges Futures Assembly.
Pictured L-R: Dr. Mandi Anderson, Dr. Rick Parker, & Ashley Collins (not pictured Mel Dewsnup)


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