June 1, 2023
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska
Barton Community College and world-renown equipment manufacturer Case New Holland Industrial (CNH) have teamed up to offer the Top Tech program starting this fall for students interested in working for Case or New Holland dealerships as an equipment technician.
Barton’s CNH Instructor, Mark Bogner, has been training CNH dealer technicians for the better part of a decade, but only Case IH and New Holland dealership employees are eligible to attend classes. While the current program will remain the same for dealers, the Top Tech program will be open for anyone interested in the mechanical field, and he is excited to open the floodgates to help usher in a new generation of technicians.
“This equipment is some of the most impressive machinery on the market,” he said. “We cover all mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems as well as engine and powertrain components and electronic service tool applications in our current classes. The Top Tech Program is the doorway to a lifelong career working for a company with a great reputation in the world of agriculture. Every day is a chance to solve problems and grow as a technician.”
Barton’s Executive Director of Workforce Training Mary Foley said this program offers students the ability to be employed by a CNH dealer after just two semesters of training and can hit the ground ready to earn a living.
“This program is intended for students who prefer to work with their hands instead of in an office setting, but of course, there is always the opportunity to move on from the technician life at some point and work for CNH in another capacity,” she said. “It will instruct on the basic knowledge and skills of repair of agricultural equipment and provide the skills they need to be successful.”
Foley said the career is perfect for someone who loves to actively problem solve every day.
“This career allows technicians to work outside and work autonomously without someone always staring over their shoulder,” she said. “They get to see the latest and greatest pieces of equipment that are outfitted with cutting-edge technology, and they really can work at their own pace most of the time,” she said.
Foley said according to the Kansas Occupational Outlook, the need for farm equipment mechanics will increase by almost nine percent over the next ten years, and the median salary is $37,270. She urges those interested to apply quickly as the course is only open for enrollment in August, and there are only 16 spots open.
“Keep in mind that is the median, and that is for all farm equipment mechanics across all dealers and manufacturers,” she said. “With CNH being a premiere equipment dealer, the salaries can often be higher. This is a great opportunity, and we are excited to get classes filled.”