What is an Agricultural Watershed Management Program?
- Agricultural Watershed Management is a brand new workforce program in LLCC Workforce Development that is focused on the student. Flexibility is built-in. Earn portable, stackable certificates which build upon each other and can lead to an associate or bachelor’s degree.
- The program is developed for broad agricultural interests, from farm owners, operators and farm service providers to the traditional in-bound high school student or graduate students in environmental science.
- Lake Springfield Watershed is designated a priority watershed and serves as our programmatic laboratory and location for outdoor practicums.
- Are you looking for a well-paid, meaningful career? Agricultural Watershed Management’s career pathway has the potential for a high wage career. With the option to progress through more than one program pathway(s) simultaneously, your earning potential goes up with each certificate or degree. See Career Coach for even greater career details.
Agricultural Watershed Focus
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS) is center-stage in the LLCC Agricultural Watershed Management program. Each learning unit topic was carefully chosen for its contribution to this technician strategy of:
- Nutrient Loss Reduction opportunities with most-every field in a watershed
- Stability of Soil Sediments – Loss reduction potential, including nutrient retention and storage of nutrients
- Understanding of field water management and water quality issues
Courses Available Spring 2018
- Conservation Practice Systems II (AWM 102) Jan,. 16 – Mar. 8, Tue. and Thu. from 6-9:50 p.m. – This course uses sub-surface agricultural water conservation activities to effect nutrient loss reduction and soil retention strategies. Techniques covered include various tile layouts, drainage water management, erosion and run-off control, integration of saturated buffers and bioreactors in nutrient management, and other long-term practices. Focus is on long-term agricultural watershed health based on best current evidence through utilization of open-source informatics, teamwork and collaboration within a given agricultural boundary. This class consists of two lecture hours and two laboratory hours.
*This pilot course is offered at no cost to the student. Costs are covered by the TAACCCT grant.
- Nutrient Use Efficiency (AWM 103) Mar. 20 – May 10, Tue. and Thu. from 6-9:50 p.m. – This course examines agricultural nutrient use efficiencies under various farm systems. Topics covered include all 17 crop-essential nutrient cycles, water cycle, green manures, soil health, animal manures and waste water, soil Cation Exchange (CEC) and pH effects on plant nutrients and management practices, all with the purpose of reducing nutrient loss and retaining soils. Focus is on long-term agricultural watershed health based on best current evidence through utilization of open-source informatics, teamwork and collaboration within a given agricultural watershed boundary. This class consists of two lecture hours and two laboratory hours.
AWM101- Conservation Practice Systems I is a course featuring surface-level cultural activities to build soil strength through cover crops.
AWM102- Conservation Practice Systems II explores subsurface activities to more fully understand the soil water zone, fluctuations and its function during surplus and drought.
AWM103- Nutrient Use Efficiency builds upon a broad nutrient utilization when comparing both inorganic and organic fractions, including biosolids and manures.
AWM104- Agriculture Readiness for Change contributes to a broader understanding of watershed stakeholders and their multi-faceted requirements.
AWM105- Agricultural “Big-Data” Management explores the why and how of big-data analytics and their contribution to precision farming applications, especially nutrient applications.
AWM106- Agricultural Sediment Fundamentals provides concise insight of these complex and often misunderstood structures that support plant-life.
AWM107- Agricultural Watershed Management identifies the complexities of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Best Management Practices in today’s watershed environment.
Certificate Opportunities Available
Two AWM certificates are now available:
AWM Technician I requires completion of these four courses – AWM101, 102, 103, and 107. The course requirements can be taken in sequence and completed in nine months.
AWM Technician II requires completion of all seven AWM courses – AWM101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, and 107. The course requirements can be taken in sequence and completed in 18 months. The other three required courses are AFO208, AGR208 and ESI101.
What Can I Expect?
Students have the opportunity to diagnose nutrient and soil sediment losses and learn to prescribe remedies. They will also be trained to identify key practices of production agriculture, analyzing cost and nutrient benefits of retention. By the end of the program the students will have broadened skills and knowledge of all areas relating to agricultural watershed management.
YES… I go on to a 4-yr degree
The purpose of the 2+2 Integrative Studies Program is for Agricultural Watershed Management students to be able to obtain bachelor’s degrees in Integrative Studies by attending LLCC for two years and attending Southern Illinois University Illinois for two years. Upon completion of the requirements of both institutions, students will qualify for an associate degree in Applied Science, or a certificate in Agriculture Watershed Management, from LLCC and a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies from SIUE. Sample curricula outlining how a typical student would be able to satisfy the requirements in each of the listed disciplines are here.
LLCC is a DOL TAACCCT awardee. Funds from the TAACCCT grant made this program possible.