NORFOLK, Neb. – Northeast Community College will receive a $450,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for an agricultural workforce training projet, it was announced Monday.

Specifically, the grant will go to toward Northeast's Ruraltech+ Training Program to Boost IT and Cybersecurity Skills in the Agricultural Workforce. The project is designed to provide students with the skills and tools to develop technical skills and credentials necessary to succeed in ag and tech related jobs.

“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 supporters say can allow producers to reduce their environmental footprint, lower costs, and improve productivity. 

"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 U.S. Senator Fischer (R-Neb.), who has advocated for precision agriculture.