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Farm Management

Tractor combining soybeans in farm field

The Farm Management program is designed for students who want to manage the day-to-day operations of a production farm. Farming has become more complex, and the need to maximize financial returns is increasingly important. Farm managers have responsibilities that include caring for livestock, operating machinery and maintaining equipment, overseeing large crop operations, and more. ECC’s Farm Management program provides a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on, real world experiences. In-class training is conducted at our new Agriculture & Renewable Energy Center on the south Hamilton Campus. Hands-on learning also happens on the College Farm, which is operated by ECC students. All Farm Management students gain valuable experience with various crops and farm animals. Many Farm Management majors minor in Agribusiness, and vice versa. The job market is lucrative right now for those in production farming, although many graduates return home to oversee their family farm operations.

This versatile Farm Management program is a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree that prepares graduates for employment directly after graduation or for transferring their ECC credits to complete a baccalaureate/bachelor’s degree at a university. This program includes a career seminar and three paid on-the-job training internships that have proven to be invaluable to our students for professional networking, building their resumes, and getting their foot in the door to make a great impression on a local employer.


Farm Management careers may include livestock and crop farming operations, breeding stock producers, working for farm management companies, and organic and natural farming operations. Because outside investors are taking over many large farm operations, the need for people to manage those farms is growing. Farm managers often direct people who do much of the physical work while they do such administrative duties as monitoring production and marketing, determining crop production and storage requirements, and overseeing property and equipment. Good management and technical skills are essential.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2012 median pay for Farm, Ranch & Other Agricultural Managers with a high school diploma (or equivalent) was $69,300 per year; the job outlook for 2012-2022 calls for a -19% decline in employment, which may provide a significant advantage to those with a college diploma.


Our Farm Management (AAS) degree program is designed to prepare students for farm management employment immediately after graduation, or to transfer to most four-year colleges and universities. Students who plan to transfer their credits are encouraged to visit with an admissions representative or academic advisor of the college or university to which they plan to transfer to ensure that the transfer of their ECC credits is seamless and complete.

The majority of ECC’s Farm Management majors transfer to Iowa State University; others have transferred to Northwest Missouri State University, South Dakota State University, and many others.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!


  • ECC’s agriculture students maintain a 133-acre farm near the College, where they experience hands-on learning at its best. Students are responsible for all management decisions, including what to plant, what chemical protection to use, and more.
  • Training includes hands-on operation of brand new ag equipment, some of which is valued at more than $250,000 per machine.
  • All Farm Management majors may become certified in Pesticide Application as part of their training.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages … there are many agriculture scholarships available, including the Bob & Arlene Hamilton Excellence in Agriculture Scholarships, which cover nearly a full year’s tuition and fees!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.
  • Our Ag Science Club is a blast … activities include involvement in Iowa and National Postsecondary Agriculture Students (PAS) leadership conferences, field trips, service projects, parties, and more.
  • Professor Kevin Butt has been teaching agriculture at ECC since 2004. He has been recognized nationally as one of four Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Education Teachers in the United States.


Kevin Butt

Kevin Butt

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with...

Kevin grew up on a farm just outside of Iowa Falls and still helps with the family farm operations. He graduated from Ellsworth in 1990 with an Associate’s degree in Ag Science, then transferred to Iowa State University, where he graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Ag Education and Animal Science. Kevin spent several years working...

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