South Georgia Tech hosts John Deere Agricultural Technology Open House

March 1, 2017
Shown above (l to r) are South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford, John Deere Division Customer Support Manager Bob Cunningham, John Deere College Partnerships Manager Jennifer Badding, South Georgia Technical College Agricultural Technology Instructors Matthew Burks and Wayne Peck, SGTC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. David Finley, and Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers. They were ready to greet the prospective students and their parents at the John Deere Agricultural Technology Open House recently.

Americus, GA – High school students from across the Southeastern United States attended South Georgia Technical College’s John Deere Agricultural Technology Open House held recently in the college’s John Deere Ag Technology lab and classrooms.

The event was sponsored by South Georgia Technical College and John Deere. John Deere officials and dealers invited prospective students and their parents as well as high school guidance counselors, and agriculture teachers from their service areas to attend the open house. Officials from John Deere’s corporate team and South Georgia Technical College met with the prospective students to outline the program, discuss admissions and financial aid procedures and demonstrate what students would be exposed to during the five semester program which results in an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agricultural Technology.

South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford, SGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers and SGTC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. David Finley as well as John Deere College Partnerships Manager Jennifer Badding welcomed the approximately 70 attendees and students to the Open House at South Georgia Tech.

Following the welcome, the attendees were divided into different groups for sessions about financial aid, admission to the program, student life, and general information about the John Deere Ag Tech program. There was also an open question and answer session.

South Georgia Tech’s students, who are currently enrolled in the Agricultural Technology program, provided demonstrations in the John Deere labs and classes to show individuals the types of activities that they are involved in learning on a day to day basis.

To enroll in this program, students must be sponsored by a John Deere Dealer. The students spend eight weeks on campus in classrooms and labs learning specific objectives, then work with a dealer for eight weeks to put their knowledge to work in a dealer setting. The students return to the college for another eight weeks and repeat the pattern during the five semester program.

South Georgia Technical College began the first class for the John Deere TECH Agricultural Technology program in August 2014 and has already graduated one class from the program.
Students can earn a two year associate of applied science degree in Agricultural Technology while partnering with John Deere agriculture and turf equipment dealers across the Southeastern portion of the United States for a career as a John Deere technician.

Studies indicate that there is a critical shortage of technicians in this field and the John Deere TECH partnership helps satisfy this need. Students will graduate out of the John Deere TECH program having a detailed understanding of John Deere equipment and bring John Deere certifications in electrical, hydraulic and Service ADVISOR™ with them to the dealership.

Students in the South Georgia Technical College Agricultural Technology program are enrolled in general education courses, but students also train and become John Deere certified in Electrical and Hydraulic systems as well as John Deere’s computer based diagnostic tool, Service ADVISOR™. Students utilize John Deere equipment, training components, and computer diagnostic tools to understand what makes equipment run. Students will also spend time understanding engines, drive trains, and product applications for a variety of agriculture and turf machinery.

The instructors for the program at SGTC are Matthew Burks and Wayne Peck. For more information about the Agricultural Technology program, visit www.southgatech.edu, or call 229.931.2394 or 229.931.2401.

John Deere TECH students are shown demonstrating some of the items that they learned during the hands-on portion of the curriculum.