Ancilla College is putting together the final touches on its agricultural degree programs.
Students return to the campus this weekend, but in addition to introducing new students, Ancilla is also introducing the new degree program. Despite being located in a heavily agricultural area, the two-year liberal arts school has not had an active academic program to this point.
College President Dr. Ken Zirkle says when he started his position with Ancilla College, he was surprised the school didn’t have an agriculture program.
“It seemed as though we were located in the perfect position,” says Zirkle. “Well then even after I got here and I realized our farm here was farming just over 1,000 acres, I’m not sure how many cattle they have, but in the spring they had just over 100 cows born. So to me it just made sense.”
Ancilla College plans to study some of the agriculture programs at major universities throughout Indiana. Being a two-year school, it allows students completing an Associates degree to transfer their credits to a four-year degree program.
Marshall County is home to many farming operations, but Pioneer Seeds has a facility located in the county that often needs employees with a two-year degree.
Right now, Ancilla College is reporting between 15 and 20 students enrolled in their agriculture program. Zirkle says there is more to it than horticulture.
“The whole business area is huge and it’s not all out on the farm,” says Zirkle. “I grew up wearing bib overalls and that was farming then. It’s a long way from that now. So the business side of agriculture has grown tremendously.”
To complete the agriculture degree, it’s often very similar to other courses offered by Ancilla College. Students will be required to complete an English, science, mathematics, and other subjects to obtain their degree.