LEIPSIC — Area high school students learned Thursday first hand about available careers in agriculture from universities, technical schools and agriculture business representatives.
An FFA Ag Career Day was held at Leipsic High School sponsored by Leipsic FFA and attended by approximately 500 seventh grade to 12 grade students, according to Don Barnhart, Leipsic High School agriculture education instructor and FFA adviser.
High schools represented included students from Leipsic, McComb, Kalida, Patrick Henry, Paulding and Miller City. There were 28 presenters who set up booths to discuss ag career opportunities their business or university offers. Future Farmers of America Week is Feb. 17 to 24 to host activities that raise awareness about the role the FFA plays in the development of agriculture’s future leaders.
“We are just as short for labor as any business is and a lot of the jobs in the agriculture industry are going to people who have no training,” Barnhart said. He said he hopes the students realize there are many job opportunities in agriculture where thinking and math skills are needed.
Reese Mangas, Leipsic High School FFA president and senior, said the career day is important to provide information about available careers.
“This helps them with their career goals and post secondary education. I will go to Ohio State to study ag systems management,” Mangas said. He has grown up on a farm where his family raises pigs and they are crop farmers who grow soybeans, wheat and corn.
Students were given worksheets about careers related to food science and technology, benefits of studying in the horticulture and crop science department and areas of concentration in the agricultural, environmental and development economics departments.
Dewey Mann, Ohio State University agricultural systems management lecturer, spoke to students about the university’s agricultural systems program. Representatives from the university’s agriculture and crop science program also were on hand.
“Roughly 60 percent of our students come from an agricultural or farming background and 40 don’t, but they come in because they have a passion for agriculture, food production and mechanical systems,” Mann said.
He said the university tries to take motivated young people and give them hands on in-depth technology to send them out in careers such as ag engineering, manufacturing degrees to build farm equipment, a farm equipment dealer, sales and precision technician, a farmer agronomy consultant, farm equipment repairs and service and grain elevator processor.
“We need a skilled work force and also people who can manage that workforce,” Mann said. He said he hopes the career day exposes students to the types of careers in agriculture.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.