Farmers, ranchers and others in the ag industry have the opportunity to be competitive and up-to-date in this era of high-speed communication thanks to a free computer literacy class at the Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  The 58-hour class, sponsored by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with North Carolina Agriculture and Technical (A&T) State University and JobLink Career Center, will be offered from 6 to 9 pm on Monday and Thursday nights beginning on Jan. 19.

The Times-News Online reports that the class is designed to train farm families on how to use computers for their farming operations in order to become more competitive in the workplace. Participants will not only learn how to use a computer and its programs to their advantage but also how to leverage the Internet to connect with consumers, dealers, and others in the agriculture industry.

The class is targeting farmers who may have wanted to try computers or learn more about them but were intimidated or embarrassed to ask.

Class participants can expect to learn more about the projects goals, including

  • Introduce the computer as a new method of keeping records and managing farms.
  • Assist farm families through training to develop computer skills that enable them to send correspondences via email and the Internet.
  • Develop partnerships with local small-business centers and human resource departments at community colleges to help train limited-resource audiences.
  • Encourage small and limited-resource farm families to participate in computer training offered at community colleges and extension computer centers.
  • Enhance small farm families’ decision-making skills through computerized programs.
  • Increase small farmers’ accessibility and competitiveness in the marketplace through the use of technological innovations.

Contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, Henderson County Center, at 828-697-4891 to register for class or for more information.

Other learning options across the state include the Farmers Adopting Computer Training (FACT) program offered through the Cooperative Extension at the North Carolina A&T campus.