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Northeast, Colorado State University Provide New Pathway for Agronomy Students

Northeast, Colorado State University Provide New Pathway for Agronomy Students

NORFOLK, Neb. -- Northeast Community College agronomy graduates will now be able to finish a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in agronomy online, thanks to a new agreement reached earlier this spring.

This unique program allows Northeast ag graduates to continue working at a job, on their own farm or in other career pathways while completing their agronomy education – all online.  


Bob Noonan, Northeast Diversified Agriculture instructor, said the arrangement is designed to keep up with the changing landscapes of education and agriculture.  


“Our primary purpose for creating this transfer agreement is to serve the students who need to work and have no access to further their education,” Noonan said. “Our students can also complete their degree over several years to fit changing work and life situations.”  


The new memorandum of understanding enables students at Northeast who earn an associate’s degree focused on agronomy to transfer credits to Colorado State University, located in Fort Collins, Colo., where they can remotely complete their bachelor’s degree. The program officially launches this fall, and students have already begun to enroll.   


According to Deana Namuth-Covert, executive director of CSU’s Upskilling Agriculture program, Northeast’s strong program in precision agriculture and hands-on learning made this new partnership a natural fit.   


“As we have been exploring innovative approaches to support rural communities and their workforce, collaborating with Northeast was a unique opportunity to provide exceptional upskilling options for people to advance their ag businesses and careers regardless of their state location,” Namuth-Covert said.  


CSU’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences is nationally recognized for research in soil health and the environment, climate smart genetics and regenerative agroecosystems. Associate Professor Suellen Melzer highlighted the value of students in this new program being able to learn the latest discoveries in sustainable agricultural management.   “We are excited to create the opportunities for the future talent in agriculture to develop the workforce skill sets needed for success.”   


Jill Heemstra, Ag Program director at Northeast, said agriculture continues to be the staple of the economies of Northeast Nebraska and the rest of the state, so it makes sense to offer more online opportunities when and where possible.  


“We are always looking for ways to serve our students and help them find pathways to success,” Heemstra said. “I am excited that we have an option for students who want to both move into the workforce and advance their education.”  


While working out the details, Northeast and Colorado State officials partnered to identify a set of Northeast courses that will allow for a smooth transition. It was noted that this new partnership with Northeast’s associate in agronomy program and CSU’s new Soil and Crop Sciences major with a concentration in sustainable agricultural management concentration creates an accessible pathway for students to enter the workforce.  


Together, the institutions are establishing a solid foundation of agronomic principles and practices to achieve economic and environmental sustainability while helping design and develop the agroecosystems of tomorrow.   


Without leaving their communities, students learn from world-renowned researchers and faculty to build practical knowledge of farming systems and utilize advanced technologies to drive decision-making in cropping system management, while maintaining or improving soil health.  


Anyone wishing to learn more information can refer to and/or contact Bob Noonan at Northeast ( or Suellen Melzer at CSU (  



Agronomy students cutline 

Northeast Community College agronomy students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree online in agronomy from Colorado State University with a new memorandum of understanding signed this spring. (Northeast Community College)