Farm Equipment & Diesel Technology Technicians in High Demand

Farm Equipment & Diesel Technology Faculty and Students at Iowa Lakes Board Meeting

(Estherville, Iowa) The Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees held their regularly scheduled board meeting late Tuesday afternoon at the Administration offices in Estherville.

Kyle Norris, Executive Dean of the Emmetsburg Campus, began Tuesday’s meeting with the Iowa Lakes report by introducing the Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program faculty, Dan Bredeson and Troy Kleve.

Bredeson has been employed at Iowa Lakes since 2001 and holds a diploma from Western Montgomery Vocational School. Kleve has been with Iowa Lakes since 2006 and has extensive experience in the industry as a diesel mechanic in a private shop and an agricultural implement dealership.

Both Bredeson and Kleve hold numerous industry and management certifications and continuously seek continuing education offerings from the biggest names in the farm machinery and diesel technology industry.

The Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program at Iowa Lakes allows students to gain real hands-on experience with all aspects of farm equipment and diesel maintenance and repair while earning an Associate in Applied Science Degree.

“Our program focuses on ag equipment, not just over-the-road trucks like other colleges, and our students gain the skills and work experience needed to prepare for a job at any major farm equipment dealership,” said Bredeson.

The Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program at Iowa Lakes immerses students with the training and skills needed for machinery set-up and repair, tractor repair, hydraulics, welding and diesel service while also gaining knowledge in engine repair and diagnostic testing, engine overhaul and failure analysis, clutch repair, transmissions, final drives, and more.

An additional component of the Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program is that students spend two four-week portions of the program working in a farm equipment dealership, earning money while completing coursework.

“We are one of two programs in Iowa that provide an on-the-job training component as part of the program. This on-the-job training ensures that students know what to expect when entering the workforce and, even better, they’ll be ready for it,” said Kleve.

Attending Tuesday’s meeting were Farm Equipment and Diesel technology students Alexandria Bierstedt, a first-year student from Fenton, Iowa, and Devin Miller, a first-year student, from the Boone, Iowa area.

Bierstedt shared why she chose Iowa Lakes.

“I was looking to make a career change that was more hands-on and found that the Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program at Iowa Lakes was exactly what I was looking for and even better that it was close to home and affordable,” said Bierstedt.

When Miller was asked why he chose Iowa Lakes, he shared, “The program at Iowa Lakes was different than any other programs that I had visited because of the opportunity for hands-on learning and the opportunity to learn about the agricultural components of diesel mechanics.”

According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, the farm equipment and diesel technology industry is projected to grow by 11 percent, nearly five percentage points higher than all other occupations. Farm equipment and diesel mechanic positions are in high demand.

Bredeson shared, “We have a 100 percent placement rate with our students upon graduation. Industry demand exceeds what we can produce from our program; the workforce has a lot of opportunity.”

Kleve added, “Our students can go anywhere and secure employment in good-paying positions.”

To learn more about the Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology program at Iowa Lakes, visit

Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, received approval to accept bids for roof replacement on the Emmetsburg and Estherville Campuses and the Iowa Lakes Administration offices. A bid opening is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 11 am in the Administration Conference Room.

The formal public hearing for the projects will occur on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 4:30 pm during the regularly scheduled Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees meeting at the SERT Facility on the Estherville Campus.

In conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting, Jeff Soper, Chief Financial Officer, received approval to pay the monthly bills.

The next monthly Board meeting will be on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 4:30 pm at the SERT Facility, Snap-on Conference Room, 2421 7th Avenue South, Estherville, Iowa. The Work Session will begin at 4:00 pm.