The president of Huntington University says the needs of the work force are driving the school’s continued focus on agriculture. Sherilyn Emberton says HU’s two-year-old ag program taps into a field that has meaning to the region and will "at the end of the day, produce jobs." Agriculture is a $37 billion industry in the state, and in an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Emberton said the concept of venturing into ag began when she started asking "who’s providing the work force?"
She was joined by Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies Director Raymond Porter, who outlined the depth of ag offerings at Huntington. Tracks within the program cover fields including management, marketing, economics and finance, small business entrepreneurship, crop production, animal production, ministry and communications and public policy.
Construction is underway on the more than $500,000 Ware Plant Science Production Facility, which Porter says will integrate with a wide range of academic interests from occupational therapy and biology to research to potentially hydroponics down the road. Emberton says HU, one of only six faith-based institutions in the U.S. with an ag program, is still capitalizing on the momentum created by the launch. She credits programs like ag and occupational therapy for a 30 percent increase in campus visits.