IOWA FALLS, Iowa — Ellsworth Community College has partnered with AgriSync to help students gain experience and develop superior customer service skills as part of the school's precision agriculture program. Students will receive a unique learning experience, not only gaining knowledge in ag technology and application, but also acquiring vital customer service experience.
“We’re thrilled to have partnered with the precision agriculture program at Ellsworth Community College,” says Casey Niemann, president of AgriSync Inc. “As technology in agriculture continues to advance, AgriSync will help future industry experts gain the skills to effectively explain that technology and provide a high-level of customer support and satisfaction their customers desire.”
Ellsworth Community College (ECC) began its precision ag degree program in 2011 to help tackle the talent shortage and need for experienced experts in the growing ag technology field. ECC is one of the few colleges across the country that offers a degree in precision farming.
“We wanted a program that would create the ‘precision agriculture technician,’ the person who is going to be out there one afternoon installing new equipment, and two hours later they are troubleshooting a precision farming system,” says Kevin Butt, agriculture professor at ECC.
Butt explained the program was designed to be very hands-on. With roughly 20 students in the program each year, the class size is small enough to conduct real-world applications and scenario training at local precision farming dealerships, providing the students a clear view of what they will be doing in the workforce.
“We wanted to incorporate a lot of realism into the program by having students call us and walk us through how to fix the issue,” Butt says. “The part students usually struggle with is the communication component. What the customer is seeing and explaining as the issue, isn’t necessarily what the technician is envisioning.”
Butt says, “When I saw AgriSync, I thought, here’s the future, here’s what we’ve been missing. When the customer is explaining what’s wrong, they can show the technician what they are seeing, so it isn’t a guessing game. In this day and age it’s all about customer service.”
￼AgriSync is the first remote support app for agriculture. It enables live video calling, which will assist technicians in providing better service to their farmer customers when breakdowns occur. ￼The live video technology allows the advisor to see exactly what the farmer sees to help bring
￼speed to resolution. Within the app, advisors can track their service time through a ticketing ￼system and obtain instant feedback from customers about the quality of service they received.
While teaching students the latest in technology integration with farm equipment, ECC has started exploring the AgriSync app and will add the technology to its current curriculum, allowing students to start using the app this semester. Students enrolled in the program will be
able to use the app when on-site at local precision farming dealers conducting scenario training, or when they aren’t in the classroom and have an issue come up while working on their family farm.