From the Field is a bi-monthly column written by Mark Campbell, Farm Bureau Field Services Director for the Central District. He writes about Farm Bureau member benefits and County Farm Bureau activities.
I’m sure you are familiar with career fairs, but how about one specifically for agriculture careers?
On April 20, more than 350 FFA students from middle and high schools came to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds to learn more about career opportunities. Counties represented were Augusta, Botetourt, Clarke, Highland, Frederick, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah. The students were able to speak with agribusinesses and organizations in order to determine which sector of agriculture they would like a career.
Lord Fairfax Community College, Dabney Lancaster Community College, and Blue Ridge Community College were present with guidance and career counselors to help the students find a field that suited them.
Dana Fisher, former agriculture teacher and now District Field Services Director for Virginia Farm Bureau, coordinated the event. He reached out to 4-H, Virginia Agribusiness Council and of course Farm Bureau to provide resources for the event.
VFB had a significant presence representing numerous facets of the agriculture industry and showcasing our Young Farmer program. Several Rockingham County Farm Bureau producer members were on hand to meet and speak with the next generation of agriculturalists. The VFB exhibit also had a “selfie” area where students wrote down what they thought what Farm Bureau was and took their picture in front of a large background of a farming scene. While at the VFB exhibit, we encouraged their FFA chapters to participate in a membership recruitment contest to win some Milwaukee and Dewalt power tools.
The students at this career fair were genuinely interested in being there, which was great to see in comparison to some other career fairs that I have attended were the students were more interested in having free time and visiting with friends.
FFA and 4-H always provide hope and promise of a bright future for agriculture. Sometimes we can get a little pessimistic in the ag industry about how we are a smaller percentage of the population. But if you get around some FFA and 4-H kids, your mood will soon be lifted to optimism. However, we in the ag industry do need to provide encouragement and stepping stones for the upcoming generation and this agriculture career fair was one way that we enjoyed doing that.
Until next time,