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Riverland instructor receives regional award

The Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education announced that Tom Anderson, Riverland Community College farm business management instructor, has received the ACTE/ Region III Postsecondary Teacher of the Year Award for 2015.

Nominated by the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education, Anderson was selected above other candidates from Region III which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. This award recognizes career and technical teachers and teacher educators who have demonstrated excellence and best practices in career and technical education at the postsecondary level.

Tom Anderson, an instructor at Riverland Community College, has received the ACTE/Region III Post Secondary Teacher of the Year Award for 2015. - Provided

Tom Anderson, an instructor at Riverland Community College, has received the ACTE/Region III Post Secondary Teacher of the Year Award for 2015. – Provided

Anderson believes a strong management program must provide a myriad of learning styles and topics to enhance student learning for greater implementation. Instructional methods include the traditional on-farm student visits and webinars with producers and lenders reviewing analysis, cash flows, etc.

Farm professionals are invited to address pressing topics for dairy farmers including Dairy Herd Improvement Association evaluation, Bovine Somatotropin usage, feed cost, robotics, employee evaluation, recordkeeping, analysis interpretation, crop insurance and strategic planning in turbulent times. Small group discussions always follow these presentations.  Dairy peer groups of seven to nine farmers meet on a regular basis. Regional educational tours offer students innovative ideas for future implementation.

In 2007, Anderson became interested in robotic milking and began a professional improvement plan to center on expertise in robotic milking. He connected with Lely, a robotic milking company from Holland. Since that time, he has toured/traveled twice to Europe and been the guest speaker/educator to more than 1,000 producers, lenders and educators at numerous locations including Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and a variety of locations in Minnesota. “I am a firm believer in this technology,” said Anderson “(Lely) enhances quality family life through flexibility of scheduling and promotes a healthier cow and enhances longevity of the cow. It is a win/win for both the family and livestock.”

Anderson now competes against four other regional winners for the national ACTE 2015 Postsecondary Teacher of the Year at the ACTE Career Vision Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana Nov. 18 to Nov. 22, 2015. He will also be recognized at the upcoming Minnesota CTE Works Conference on Nov. 5, 2015, in Minnetonka.

Now in its 87th year, ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepare youth and adults for careers. Its mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce. ACTE currently has a membership of more than 25,000 teachers, counselors and administrators at the middle school, high school and postsecondary levels as well as nonprofit organizations and corporations working with CTE educators on workplace skills. MnACTE is the state professional association for the field of career and technical education and an affiliate of ACTE.

“We are proud of Mr. Anderson’s achievement,” said Dr. Adenuga Atewologun, president of Riverland Community College. “His best in class expertise that he offers to his students and the Farm Business Management program is admirable and not only enhances the program but the college as a whole.”

For further information about the competition and award, contact Ginny Karbowski, MnACTE Awards Chair, at 651 408-2219 or ginny.karbowski@so.mnscu.edu.

Anderson has been the farm management business instructor at Riverland Community College since 1997. Prior to this position, Anderson taught high school agriculture in Plainview for 18 years, and saw a need for continuing management education, as many of his former students were now farmers. As a result, he applied and was hired for the teaching position at Riverland Community College in order to ensure his former students received a quality postsecondary education in farm business management.

The Riverland Farm Business Management program, one of the college’s highest enrolled programs, is designed to help organize a farmer’s resources to assist in meeting family and financial goals. Courses explore various topics including: economic principles, farm practices, agricultural science, new developments in the field and decision making skills. Instructors primarily work with clients/students one on one.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a community college that has inspired personal success through education for 75 years. Approximately 4,900 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,400 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Campuses are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 420,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.