Diné College to Offer Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 4, 2019
TSAILE, Ariz. – Diné College will offer a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science. The four-year degree program will start in January and focus on animal, plant and general science. The matter has been well-received by the Navajo Nation’s agricultural enterprise.
“This new agri-science degree combines the best of two areas of specialty at Diné College – science and traditional knowledge,” Diné College President Charles Monty Roessel said. “A student with this degree will be armed to join the transformation of Navajo food sovereignty that is happening on the reservation right now. We are excited about the possibilities for growth as well as creating a degree that is relevant to today’s challenges and one that allows students to make a difference in their communities.”
Benita Litson, executive director at the Diné College Land Grant Office, said LGO’s role in the new degree offering is to help guide the Navajo Nation’s next generation of farmers and ranchers improve upon the Navajo agricultural way of life.
Litson said the first bachelor’s degree in agricultural science will be handed out in 2023.
“This degree program is uniquely developed to help one make best management practices in livestock, horticulture and rangelands. As we know, most Navajo who own livestock also have a farm plot and utilize rangelands, therefore becoming well-rounded in all areas will greatly benefit individuals.”
Litson noted a new agricultural and horticultural hub to support crop and livestock production will soon be built at the college’s Shiprock South Campus. The construction comes as a result of $400,000 in capital outlay funds approved by the New Mexico State Legislature for architectural, design and construction purposes.
With campuses located in Tsaile, Chinle, Window Rock, Tuba City, Crownpoint and Shiprock, Diné College is the oldest (established in 1968) and largest tribal college in the Four Corners area.
The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry Angle
“(Navajo Agricultural Products Industry) is in need of a younger group of farmers educated in the agricultural sciences and agribusiness field,” Peter Deswood, chairman of the board of directors at (NAPI),” said. “We have an older group of farmers who are nearing retirement.”
NAPI is managed by a 5-member board of directors which provide governance and oversight of the organization. The NAPI board oversees the agribusiness, agricultural marketing, livestock, agricultural economics and finance, irrigation and contracting.
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