Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship announced that U.S. military veterans will qualify for reimbursement of tuition for classes taken through its online school, Managed Grazing Innovation Center. The purpose is to increase access to educational opportunities for veterans considering a career in dairy farming. Funding, provided by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets), will be available beginning Spring Semester 2021 until August 31, 2022.
“DGA is a veteran friendly organization,” says DGA Executive Director Joe Tomandl, III, “and we are committed to not only providing access to high quality classes but also creating a pathway for returning service members seeking to enter the dairy farming profession.”
Established in 2018 to provide custom content for DGA Apprentices, MGIC is now open to the general public and offers a slate of six classes for anyone who wants to gain practical knowledge that can be put to use on the farm: Dairy Cattle Health and Wellness; Milk Quality; Dairy Cattle Nutrition, Feeds and Feeding; Soil and Water Resources Management; Farm Business Management; and Managed Grazing Systems for Dairy Cattle.
MGIC classes are one credit (36 hours) each and run for 12 weeks during Spring Semester and Fall Semester. There is also a condensed Summer Session to accommodate varied and busy farming schedules. Students can take courses individually or complete all six within five years to earn a Managed Grazing Dairy Certificate. The classes combine independent study with synchronous educational opportunities as well as one-on-one support from MGIC School Director, Jamie Washburn.
Registration for Spring Semester at Managed Grazing Innovation Center is now open and classes beginning January 11, 2021 through April 2nd. For more information on classes and how to register, visit their website.
According to Washburn, “The online format provides flexibility for veterans in any location as they are considering a potential Apprenticeship, while also connecting people across the nation in a shared learning community.”
Washburn, who has a broad background in livestock nutrition and production, research, and education, teaches all the classes and brings in speakers during live video sessions to provide additional expertise. She holds a Master’s degree in Ruminant Nutrition and a Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.