Two-Part Precision Agriculture Course Kicks-Off June 1st

Hands-on Soil Data Collection Perfect for Farm Businesses of All Sizes

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Mark Mancari teaching at the Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College on May 4, 2017

BATAVIA, NY (05/08/2017) (readMedia)-- Planting season has started throughout the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming County region, and two critical components are at the forefront of every producer's mind. The right amount of rainfall and the quality of the soil. While the BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center at Genesee Community College can't control Mother Nature and levels of precipitation, the two-part Introduction to Precision Agriculture course offers an excellent opportunity for the farming community to cost-effectively learn the science of soil management including identifying and working under US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines.

Introduction to Precision Agriculture - Data Collection – Part I

Thursdays, June 1-29, 2017, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

In this five-session course, instructor Mark Mancari will cover the History of Agriculture, Demands on Agronomy, Soil Sample-Controlled Testing and Collecting and Testing Soil Samples. The program is taught partially in lecture format and partially in hands-on labs. Eight soil samples will be collected from a participating agronomist with physical, chemical and biological composition determined for maximum yield improvements using USDA guidelines. Two classes will be held at GCC's Batavia Campus, and the other three classes at Perry Central Schools in collaboration with a host farm in the region.

Introduction to Precision Agriculture - Making Data Useful – Part II

Thursdays, July 13-August 17, 2017, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. (No class July 27)

Instructor Mark Mancari will also lead Part II, which builds upon the information and discovery process of Part 1. The soil samples collected in Part I are further analyzed with data further interpreted against the USDA guidelines to ultimately improve soil conditions. Students create a presentation sharing their soil-testing results and will be well-versed in agronomy and agribusiness foundations.

As a technology teacher at Perry High School, Mancari is constantly looking to grow and develop technology curriculum to better meet the needs of his students, helping them grow and realize their fullest potential. "I am very excited about the potential of precision agriculture being taught in our region and its potential impact on economic stability for our region," he said.

Both sessions cost $149 each and advanced registration is required by May 24, 2017.

"The BEST Center is pleased to be offering another opportunity to help our local producers in the agriculture community improve their bottom lines," Reid Smalley, executive director of GCC's Workforce Development said. "When we surveyed our constituency a year or so ago, we learned that agribusiness was an area of interest for training and skills development. We took that survey very seriously and are continuing to explore the many different aspects of agribusiness and opportunities to assist this critical component to the GLOW economy."

For further information on upcoming and all offered courses and programs through the BEST Center, contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Wakefield at or (585) 343-0055 ext. 6602.

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Editor's Note:

For a photograph of Mark Mancari teaching at the Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College on May 4, 2017 go to: