Community

Connecting local agriculture with education


In 2014, Tillamook Bay Community College officially launched its Agriculture and Natural Resources degree program.

This Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree was the result of a unique partnership between the college, community, industry partners and organizations. It prepares students for entry into a variety of career opportunities in agriculture, natural resources, forestry, fish and wildlife, animal science and other related fields.

Scott Rocha is a student in the Agriculture and Natural Resource program at Tillamook Bay Community College, and is on track to be one of the first students to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Agriculture and Natural Resource from TBCC.
Scott Rocha is a student in the Agriculture and Natural Resource program at Tillamook Bay Community College, and is on track to be one of the first students to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Agriculture and Natural Resource from TBCC.

 

“It was created out of a community need to better prepare people in the fields of agriculture and natural resources,” explained program coordinator Emily Henry. Henry oversees the program and also teaches courses in Fish and Wildlife that are required in the AAS degree.

Last Spring, TBCC invited Tillamook-native Hayden Bush to teach agriculture classes. Bush graduated from Oregon State University, where he majored in Agriculture Sciences before completing a Master’s program in Agriculture Education.

“I grew up right here in Tillamook,” said Bush. “I lived on a dairy farm and worked there ever since I could walk, so agriculture is very much a part of who I am.”

Teaching for TBCC has been the perfect fit for Bush, who believes that even generational agriculture and dairy farmers can still benefit from an education.

“When you combine a passion for agriculture with the proper education it is a dynamite combination,” he said, which is why Bush is eager to make TBCC a major driving force in agriculture education.

“Anyone looking to study agriculture or natural resources is going to get a great education at TBCC,” he said. “When you’ve already grown up here and have been working in the Ag industry in some capacity, getting your education from TBCC will just make you appreciate where you live even more, and appreciate the importance of agriculture on a national level.”

Students in the Agriculture and Natural Resources degree program at TBCC can choose to jointly enroll at Oregon State University, thanks to the Degree Partnership Program. Eligible students can complete their Bachelor’s more affordably by enrolling simultaneously at OSU and TBCC, yet only paying TBCC’s tuition for their first two years. Students are also able to work with a TBCC and OSU advisor at the same time and have increased flexibility in their class schedules, with access to courses online through OSU’s ECampus.

In addition to the Degree Partnership Program, Tillamook High School students taking classes in agriculture have the ability to earn college credit in advance before graduating high school. These credits can be applied towards TBCC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources degree.

This Spring Term, TBCC has added a leadership course to its Ag program. “When it comes to agriculture, having the right leadership is what will lead to career success,” Bush said, who helped created the new course in hopes of catching some of the more non-conventional, agriculturally-inclined people.

For more information on TBCC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources degree program visit www.tillamookbaycc.edu.