Grow into a Career in Agriculture or Equine Studies

Grow into a Career in Agriculture or Equine Studies

CNCC sits in the heart of rural agriculture and western culture. With the agriculture and equine program, we try to utilize aspects of this environment in the classroom. Here, you can choose to between two different agriculture related degrees, and three equine degrees. The agriculture degrees include; Associate of Science in Agriculture Business and an Associate of Science in Animal Science. Both of these degrees are fully transferable to Colorado State University, and have common transferability to land grant institutions where these degrees could transfer to the bachelor’s level. The equine degrees include; Associate of Science in Equine Science, Associate of Applied Science in Equine Training and Management, and the Associate of Applied Science in Equine Studies and Management. The agriculture program also offers a certificate in Agriculture Science that covers general introductory level agriculture courses.

Real World Meets Classroom

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With these degrees, we strive to have real world meet the classroom. Often times, on the agriculture side, we take short local field trips to visit with producers, or agriculture businesses about their operation and what they do. Our instructors LOVE integrating projects into the classroom that fit with what students are learning. Some recent projects have included; performing a feed trial with chicks looking at the effectiveness of chicken feed with antibiotics, vs. without antibiotics creating the break-even analysis for various projects in; farm and ranch management; a digestibility study on different feeds; evaluating animal weight gain with different feeds; creating a business and marketing plan for an animal operation and more! We work to make the things the students are learning in the classroom relevant and encourage them to participate with their personal examples and/or problems they may be running into. Classes in this degree are broad, but cover economics, world food impact, general animal science courses like feeds and feeding, live animal and carcass evaluation, etc, and general business classes such as farm and ranch management, agriculture marketing, or agriculture finance.

“Opportunities to work in the arena, the animal pens or the field allows our students to apply what they are learning” stated Carrie Olsen, a CNCC Equine and Agriculture Instructor. “This hands-on experience prepares them for real life problem solving on the job.”

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This similar philosophy on teaching carries over to the equine side as well. Both degrees in equine require riding/equitation classes that help students learn about riding and how to become a better rider, how to work with the horse to get them to listen and respond to the cues. The training degree focusses on students working with and training horses – and you can bring your OWN horse to college! Many students who have personal horses, or have the ability to get horses, are allowed to use their horse in the program if it meets the course requirements for horses. But don’t worry if you don’t have one – we will work with you to find one that fits your skill level, and/or the training aspects of the class. The lecture classes cover topics like management, evaluation, health, and production. The major riding discipline taught is western – however, in some classes we do integrate English riding and/or concepts if applicable. Additionally, depending on the group of students, we are not opposed to seeing how we can offer what you are truly interested in creating that personalized educational experience for you!

Exciting Highlights

  • We have a low instructor to student ratio – both programs often have 5-10 students in majority of the classes.
  • Our instructors are the BEST! They put in countless hours of their time to work with students on their coursework. This could be at the barn, or in the classroom. They truly want to see all students succeed, and a student’s success is really in their own hands. Our instructors will help turn their goals into reality.
  • You can bring your horse to college with you! Even if you do not use your personal horse in a class, you can still bring it and house it at the same facility where we offer our equine classes.

Student Background

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We have seen a variety of students come through our programs – some were interested, but didn’t have personal experience in it, and others have been in the industry since they were young. Typically, the type of student that is successful includes:

1) Someone who is interested in the field (i.e. animal sciences, agriculture business, or equine) and can apply of what they are learning to their personal life

2) Students who love to be OUTDOORS! The CNCC campus is located next to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land – so students have Mother Nature as their playground. Equine students often do trail rides right from where their horses are stabled to public land, and our animal science will run into ranchers who hold BLM grazing permits when out and about. Hunting, biking, hiking, swimming (did I mention we have a lake?), etc. are all possible at CNCC;

Meghan Davis, Career and Technical Education Dean at CNCC put it this way, “Western Colorado has so much to offer, students just need to get out and explore. There is a ton to do here, you just have to get out of your dorm! ”

3) Students who love the small rural town feel. We are a small community, not only at CNCC, but also ‘down town’. Every student handles this differently, but majority love how quickly they become integrated into the community

4) Someone who wants to experience a reasonably customized learning experience. We work hard to ensure all our students are succeeding in their designated degree. We will check in as much as needed, help students whenever, and celebrate with them on their successes!  

Your Next Steps

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The opportunities are endless on what you can learn, you just have to keep an open mind and engage in your material. Take charge of your education today by reviewing our program information here.

Feel free to reach out to our recruiters by contacting them to schedule a visit.

Talk to our faculty members – feel free to give This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a call or drop an email. She will be happy to visit with you!

We hope to see you soon on campus!

Published 12/15/2020

About CNCC

Colorado Northwestern is one college in two Colorado communities. Depending on what you want to study, CNCC has the perfect surroundings and facilities to meet your needs. Founded in 1962 as “Rangely College,” CNCC now serves nearly 1,600 students on two campuses, two service centers and online. Our two campuses are located in Craig and Rangely and are 90 miles apart in the mountains and canyons of Northwestern Colorado.