Agriculture Program Provides a Doorway for Students

Caleb Miller

Caleb Miller photo
Diversified Agriculture Major
Graduation Date: 2012
Currently: Ag Student at Clemson

Agriculture has always been part of Caleb Miller’s life. Raised on a small farm in Saluda, he developed a love for the family business and the desire to pursue a career in agriculture. But, he wasn’t sure how to accomplish that goal.

“I wasn’t going straight to Clemson because I wasn’t ready financially or with myself,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t have had my mind ready for that big of a step.”

Miller enrolled in the new diversified agriculture program at the Piedmont Technical College Saluda County Center. He plans to continue his education at Clemson University to either enter the field or become a teacher.

“I’d love to teach high school students and let them see agriculture today,” Miller said. “Hopefully, they will want to get into the field.”

Even though he has a farming background, Miller said he has been most impressed with the hands-on experiences he has had while in the program.

“I’m learning things about agriculture that the average person can’t see just by riding down the road,” he said.

“I’m learning things about agriculture that the average person can’t see just by riding down the road,” he said.

Though he came into the program with some experience, Miller said that it isn’t necessary to succeed.

“Coming in with experience doesn’t put you ahead, it just gives you a good understanding of what is involved,” he said.

Miller said he enjoys the variety of approaches to learning. Class instruction varies from researching cattle breeds on the computer to spreading gravel to learning about the mechanics of the farming vehicles.

“Every day is something different, but it’s always related to each other and builds on what you've learned the day before,” he said.

“You can’t stay in the classroom to fully understand the dynamics of the agriculture industry today,” said Hugh Bland, instructor. “You have to get out there and gain hands-on experience.”

Miller said he would recommend the program to anyone wanting to begin their education close to home.

“By coming to Piedmont Tech, you can save money over attending a four-year university,” he said. “You can take classes here and enjoy them. You get more hands-on time and more one-on-one time with the teacher.”