CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – West Texas A&M University announced Tuesday that its online master’s of agriculture program is now accepting applications for its second fall cohort.

According to Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences professor Mallory Vestal, the graduate degree is entirely online and intended to suit professionals who want to expand their career options.

“The program’s coursework and course timing has been strategically designed for the working professional,” Vestal said. “Faculty has specifically selected agriculture courses that will be beneficial for individuals working in all facets of the industry. And the timing of the coursework is laid out strategically to make a positive, manageable learning environment for full-time students and full-time professionals.”

Each cohort runs for two full years, including summer course offerings, according to the university. Students in the program are offered courses centered around natural, social, and economic environments of agriculture including innovative management, sustainability, agricultural issues, and leadership development.

The university noted that scholarships are also available for qualified students, including a special $3,000 scholarship available for agricultural extension agents which is renewable for up to two years. Those agents must register for a minimum of six credit hours and maintain a 3.0-grade average. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Aug. 15.

As drought conditions persist across the High Plains and contribute to skyrocketing input costs for agricultural producers, efforts have been made by groups and organizations of all sizes to cope with current struggles and prepare for the future. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service hosted multiple agricultural workshops throughout the summer, including a meeting in June focused on managing crops and cattle during drought. Meanwhile, larger entities such as the United States Department of Agriculture have promoted disaster assistance funding and other programs for producers across the country.