Saturday, August 12, 2006

Podcast Episode: Bio Ag, Build It and They Will Come

Bio Ag, Build It and They Will Come

This episode explores the Agricultural and Natural Resources Technologies career pathway featuring a special guest, Rebecca Westbooks, director of Agricultural Biotechnology at Southeastern Community College, Whiteville, NC.

  • Interesting Fact #1: The North Carolina is one of the top three states in biotechnology in the United States
  • Interesting Fact #2: Out of the 50 states, only California and Massachusetts rank higher than NC.
  • Interesting Fact #3: NC is a worldwide BioAg leader
  • Interesting Fact #4: Salaries in biotechnology field are very attractive. Annual salaries for entry-level technicians start at $25,000 to $30,000 and can progress to $50, 000 in five years.
  • Interesting Fact #5: The NC biotechnology industry is growing 10-15% each year. At this rate, 125,000 workers will be needed by 2025.
  • Interesting Fact #6: NC has more thatn 150 biotechnology companies. These companies generate about $3 billion in annual revenue and employee more than 18,500.

    Southeastern Community College, in Columbus County, North Carolina. We are going to explore one relatively new career pathway and course offering in the field of Agricultural Biotechnology – or BioAg. Our guest for this episode of CCTPC podcast is Rebecca Westbrooks, project director of the Agricultural Biotechnology curriculum at Southeastern Community College. She is also the lead instructor and developer of SCC’s Environmental Science Technology program. Westbrooks was awarded a Biotechnology Innovation Fund grant to develop the Agricultural Biotechnology curriculum back in 2005. The first class start(s or stated depending on when you listen to this podcast) in August 2006. Westbrooks also was awarded a grant to develop six Biotechnology course lectures for Internet delivery. She was selected to receive a full fellowship to attend the BioLink Conference “New Frontiers in Biotechnology” in Berkley, California in June 2006. She was one of 50 nationally to receive this fellowship. She has been teaching at SCC for more than 18 years and has taught for a total of 32 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, and chemistry from Austin Peay State University, and a master’s degree from University of South Carolina with an interdisciplinary concentration in biology (botany), chemistry and physics. Welcome Mrs. Westbooks to our podcast.

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