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New farming partnership gives tech students access to the best equipment


Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- Wisconsin is always looking at how to keep college grads right here at home.  A new partnership between the Chippewa Valley Technical College and a local tractor company could do just that.

John Deere is a household name in Wisconsin.  But it's about to become even bigger at a community college near you.

Tractor Central has agreed to give three new John Deere machines to CVTC for free to help students learn how to farm with the latest and greatest equipment.

"Students actually have their own plot of about 10 acres," explains Aliesha Crowe, who serves as CVTC's Dean of Agriculture and Energy.  "We rent some land throughout the district where our students actually get their own plot and they get to farm that themselves and really apply what they are learning in the program."

Students grow crops like corn and soybeans from start to finish.  But this will be the first time ever that John Deere has entered the picture.

"We are providing the latest technology equipment, brand new," points out Tractor Central General Sales Manager Randy Robinson.  "We've got an 8360R that's a 360 horse-power tractor and then also we have a 4830 John Deere self-propelled sprayer and then a gator that's equipped with a lot of the latest technology."

This equipment being given to CVTC is valued at more than $600,000.  That's a lot of money but in exchange, Tractor Central is going to get first dibs on CVTC students once they graduate.

Tractor Central says it wants to hire students to integrate technology into its equipment, work in sales or as service technicians. 

"The biggest thing is getting John Deere's technology out in front of these producers and future students," says Tractor Central Integrated Solutions Manager Kori Richter.  "And that's a big thing for us is getting people familiar with what we offer and teaching them and grooming them early in their development."

Tractor Central employees will train CVTC staff this spring on how to use the new tractors and then staff members will train students.

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