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Hancock 8th graders learn about careers in agriculture

The Stevens County Farm Bureau Board recently hosted an Ag Careers Day for eighth graders.

On May 4 in Morris,  about 110 students attended from Morris and Hancock. The annual event began three years ago at a Stevens County Farm Bureau meeting where the board wanted to show that there is a future in agriculture despite what some would say about pursuing an agriculture degree.   The agriculture industry needs driven young people with a passion to teach, research and develop ways to feed the world in the years to come.  

There were six stations set up at the Lee Community Center. At each station a local ag business person described their career.  At station one,  Al Thiel of Amundson-Peterson, Inc.    talked about the John Deere Corporation and all the opportunities it has to offer.  Thiel spoke about how John Deere has people who study how a seed is planted all the way to harvest and the need for diesel and hydraulic specialists to satellite guidance experts.

Station two had Dale Carter representing the United States Department of Agriculture. Carter was able to speak about all the food safety issues from beginning to end that they deal with and  the need for inspectors to find problems in the food chain and  work with producers to address the issues.

At station three, Tom Bovee and Brian Nohl representing the Cenex Harvest States Cooperative, took the students on a trip around the world talking about grain, fertilizer and fuels purchasing, selling, and shipping.

Rick Molenaar representing Monsanto talked to the students at Station Four.  He was fun to listen to with his passion for the future of agriculture.  He was able to share the need for researchers, scientists, and computer tech people in all parts of agriculture in every part of the world.

Station five had Mike Nordquist from Environment Control Systems of Morris.   He talked about everything that went into planning, designing, engineering and building hog production facilities.

At station six, Renee Konz, representing Riverview Dairy,  was able to bring a financial management perspective to the day.  She tied together all the decisions that a farmer must make on a daily basis and how keeping good track of the numbers is so important in modern ag.

 All the presenters this year were local. They were asked to tie the student’s current stage in life to a possible career in agriculture.   Farm Bureau board members wanted the students to learn ways  to give purpose and perspective to the classes they are taking and why every class is important. The presenters shared that the path they saw before them at age 14 was not where they thought they would end up.  They didn't expect to be standing before these groups of students,   but they  were each glad to be a part of something so important to our future.   The Stevens County Farm Bureau Board was thrilled   to have such quality presentations again this year and thank all of these companies for sharing them with the students for a day.