Every career can be related to agriculture, and it’s about finding the student’s right niche.
The annual ag careers night was Tuesday night at the Farm Bureau building in Gilman.
The design is to give middle schoolers and high schoolers a leg up on what they want to do in the future in agriculture, especially if those plans include college. It’s a one stop shop of information.
“There’s a variety of ag careers available,” said Jen Odle with the Ford-Iroquois Extension, and those invited to talk to the students was just the tip of the iceberg. The event is conducted in conjunction with the Farm Bureau, and the event was hosted by the Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau.
Odle said students from Iroquois and Ford counties were invited, and there were students from Milford, Iroquois West, Watseka and Paxton-Buckley-Loda who attended.
This year the paneling was set up different than previous year. Those in the field were set up at tables and the students were to go around to the different tables to learn what they do and to ask their questions.
“It allows more one-on-one interaction,” said Odle. The students would be more comfortable. “They’ll be more confident in asking their questions,” she said, and often when there was a panel, parents would want to ask more questions than the students.
The panelists sat at tables for business/communication, veterinarian/animal sciences, nutrition/food service, and agronomy/crops.
Filling the tables were representatives from Eastern Illini, Stone Seed, Pro Harvest Seed, Mycogen Seed, Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Farm Bureau Farm Management, Pheasants and Quail Forever, Kankakee County Soil and Water Conservation District, State Board of Ag Education Administration, University of Illinois, media, veterinarians, dietitians and caterers.
Students could learn from job shadowing, and with a flexible degree, that resume builder can lead to many different jobs in the future.
The schools represented by someone within their agriculture department were Kankakee Community College, Illinois State University, Lake Land College, Joliet Community College, and University of Illinois. These representatives — college admissions, faculty and/or current students — were on hand to talk about the course work required in the different ag-studies areas.
There was also someone from the Illinois Student Assistant Commission available to talk about financial aid for incoming college students.
She said these events are a good opportunity for parents to talk to colleges, too.