Lake Land College is taking measures to improve several courses of study in its agriculture division. In August, the college offered a workshop called Developing a Curriculum, or DACUM, that focused on bridging Lake Land’s agricultural curriculums with the emerging green energy industry.
“The DACUM was conducted to provide greater insight as to how Lake Land College could meet the training needs of current industry employees in the agriculture and energy fields,” said Jon Althaus, agriculture division chair.
The goal of the DACUM was to create a concise job analysis that includes a graphic profile of important duties, tasks and skills required of successful workers in these occupations. To do this, representatives from the college met with a panel of employees who currently work in the agriculture and energy fields. GROWMARK, a regional agricultural cooperative based in Bloomington, Ill. that provides fuels, lubricants, plant nutrients, crop protection products, seed, structures, equipment and grain marketing assistance throughout the Midwest, helped facilitate the panel.
“This is a great tool for Lake Land to be able to meet with industry experts and current employees in the industry so that they can pull out the necessary information in order to benefit the college’s program,” said Dave Rich, GROWMARK senior trainer and career development representative.
The panel consisted of multi-level experts who worked in agricultural sales, delivery and fuel development. Panelists were: Mike Boles from Evergreen FS; Jason Stauffer from Star Energy; Bruce Bruns from Advantage FS; Darren Becker from Agriland FS; Brad Wessel from Sunrise Ag.; Merle Simon from Two Rivers FS; Kris Zerrusen from Effingham Clay FS; and Ed Hillard from Illini FS.
The DACUM process for job and occupational analysis has been used worldwide. It has been proven to be a very effective method for quickly determining, at relatively low cost, the tasks that must be performed by persons employed in a given job or occupational area.
“Having students understand the concerns surrounding farming and the environment is a sure way to develop a future workforce that will address future farming and energy needs,” said Rich.