Who is agcentric?

AgCentric is a Minnesota State Center of Excellence in Agriculture made up of three colleges in North, Central and Western Minnesota. We are committed to developing and delivering the latest and most advanced agricultural knowledge and training in the region. We do that by connecting students, industry and education to meet the evolving demands of 21st century global agriculture.

AgCentric Manifesto Video


“We develop and support excellence in agricultural, natural resources, and horticulture programs and career pathways in partnership with K-12, government, other academic institutions and the industry.”


Improving agriculture education

The Center is located at Central Lakes College, Ridgewater College, and Northland Community and Technical College. Our goal is to develop and support excellence in agricultural, natural resources, and horticulture programs and career pathways in partnership with K-12, government, other academic institutions and the industry.


Gather Partners

AgCentric provides an evolving curriculum, career opportunities, technical training, industry education, advocacy and timely information. The Center brings together state and national partners from industry, government and higher education to remain at the forefront in advancing agriculture and meeting the needs of a rapidly changing industry.



Provide Resources

We cultivate best practices through advanced classroom education and customized field training, an evolving and relevant curriculum developed with industry partners and producers, and data collection and timely information that helps professionals grow their crops and their businesses. Read more



Advocate Learning

A regional voice for agriculture, we collaborate to bring agricultural information and programs to our classrooms and beyond. We educate others about the value of agriculture. And we keep students and stakeholders informed about the many opportunities to grow.



Keith Olander

AgCentric - Director

Keith Olander is director of AgCentric and the Central Lakes College (CLC) Ag & Energy Center. He has been in agriculture education for more than 20 years.

Previously Dean of Agricultural Studies at Central Lakes College, Keith also served as a farm business management instructor for the college. Before that he was an agricultural education instructor at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School and New Ulm High School, both in Minnesota.

Keith’s responsibilities at CLC include operating the 1,400 acres of research and demonstration, and work with farm business management faculty, in addition to directing the activities of the AgCentric Center of Excellence.

He has a bachelor’s degree and Master of Education degree in Agricultural Teacher Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Married with three children, he and his family live in rural Staples, MN, where they operate a 350-acre crop farm and grow a crop rotation of mostly corn and soybeans.

Judy Barka

AgCentric - Project Manager

Before joining AgCentric,  Judy  worked at Meeker Memorial Hospital Volunteer Coordinator and Foundation Assistant; an independent assessor, and co-owner of Forest City Land and Cattle.  She is a former non-profit agency director.

Judy is currently servings as the past president of the Minnesota FFA Alumni Association.  She is a MARL – MN Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program graduate and has served on the Minnesota FFA Foundation Board of Directors.

Judy and her husband, Randy have four children actively involved in the family farm.  Three of their children are involved in production agriculture – crop farming, beef ranching and dairy farming.  One is an Ag Education Student that plans to teach.  They are also the proud grandparents of three grandchildren.



Adawn Nelson

AgCentric - Assistant Director
Farm Business Management Instructor
Northland Community & Technical College

With a passion for agriculture, ADawn teaches by choice, not by chance. She strives to provide an educational experience that is purposeful and relevant by engaging her students in real-life experiences and motivating them to action and achieving their goals.

An instructor at NCTC since 2012, she previously taught at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, serving as an instructor in agriculture and natural resources: animal and equine sciences. From 2008 to 1998, she was an agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Lincoln high School in Thief River Falls, MN.

ADawn has developed a variety of teaching materials and curricula in areas such as careers and husbandry, animal anatomy and physiology, equine evaluation and management and community service. she is also a published author, presents workshops and clinics and is a member of numerous professional organizations.

She has a master’s degree in agricultural education and agriculture programs at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, and a bachelor’s degree from University of Minnesota, Crookston.

Curt Yoose

AgCentric - Assistant Director
Agriculture Instructor
Ridgewater College

Curt started teaching at Ridgewater in the fall  of 1998.  Previous to that he work as a Crop Production Manager for CS Asgrow Service.

At Ridgewater, Curt teaches many of the Precision Agriculture class and serves as an advisor to the PAS –  Post Secondary Agriculture Student Organizations.

Curt and his wife own and operate Yoose Farms.  They raise  corn, soybeans, and cattle.

Curt’s favorite part about teaching is getting to know the students and helping them to be successful.