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BSC to offer new custom applicator program

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 2:05 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - This year’s drought may have producers thinking of how they bring in a little extra income.

Bismarck State College is offering a new program they think might appeal to farmers, or anyone looking for a new career in the ag industry.

The new custom applicator program will prepare students to apply crop protection products, including fertilizers and pesticides.

BSC Professor of Agriculture Lindsey Novak is keeping a close eye on these plants. They will be a big part of her classes this fall.

“Students will need to identify the difference between barley and wheat,” explained Novak.

Among the classes she’s most excited about: the new custom applicator program.

“We will also use these plants to show what herbicide injury looks like,” she said.

The nine-week course is possible thanks to a USDA workforce enhancement grant.

“We wanted to provide a program that would help people in the urban community but also the rural communities and something that is strongly needed the agriculture industry,” said Novak.

Eight weeks of the course will be online; students have one week of in person learning on campus. A partnership with Butler machinery will provide hands-on training on machines and the technology they’ll use, giving them an advantage when they get to work.

“This is going to allow them to be more prepared to understand what the monitors are doing the spray systems are doing how to maintenance them things to watch for and check on prior to having to go out to the field and learning crop when a customer that’s hiring them is spending lots of money for their expertise upfront,” said Koltan Ohnell, application product specialist for Butler.

Expertise, like plant identification, that will make these custom applicators more hirable and ready for work in their new field.

To learn more about the custom applicator program at BSC, visit bismarckstate.edu and click on the academics tab.

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