WYE MILLS, Md.- When you think of the farmer, the image that probably appears in your head is Grant Wood's "American Gothic." Farming looks simple from the outside, but take one look inside a modern tractor, and you will quickly find that is not the case.
"The farming operations around here have changed dramatically in the past 10 to 15 years," said Mark Sultenfuss with Nagel Farm Service.
Sultenfuss says the 21st century farmer is a jack of all trades.
"A farmer wears many hats: a scientist hat, a businessman hat, a husbandry hat as he grows and nurtures either his crops or his animals. At any one time, he's going to be wearing one or many of those hats," he said.
Chesapeake College is adding a new two-year degree to its curriculum: an Associate of Applied Science degree in agriculture.
"The science behind farming, the science behind agriculture, is constantly changing every day. We're learning how to be efficient with our agricultural practices. New regulations are constantly being developed and put into play," said Dr. Nicole Fiorellino, coordinator for the new agriculture program.
The program serves as a two-year springboard to help a potential young farmer make an effortless transition into the mercurial world of modern agriculture.
"You need to understand how to play with technology, use maps, hook up all kinds of technology to your machinery. It's not so much about getting in the dirt, it's about how to use all this technology," she said.
The program starts this fall to begin training the next wave of Eastern Shore farmers.