Growing the Next Generation of Farmers
Want a rewarding career with plenty of growth potential? Think agriculture. There's a shortage of qualified candidates to fill the 65,000 professional ag positions that open up every year. This week's Super Six highlights some organizations working to help fill this void now and in the future.
As reported by WDAZ News, the Minnesota 4-H is so concerned about the trend, it spent four years planning the Science of Agriculture Challenge. We strongly support the missions of 4-H and FFA - two outstanding organizations that help train our ag leaders of the future. Read this earlier Hub story about how we are supporting some 4-H and FFA organizations at the local level.
- One of the keys to getting young people interested in ag careers is having highly trained and motivated teachers in our ag schools. Agprofessional.com reports that more than 300 faculty and graduate students from agricultural colleges across the nation will gather at the University of Georgia to learn about the latest research in teaching and mentoring students in agricultural, food and environmental sciences. The North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA), a professional society that focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning agriculture and related disciplines, is behind this effort.
Getting our veterans involved in agriculture is another great initiative. One of the best ways to say thanks to a veteran is to give him a job, said Chris Gallion, who served two tours in Iraq for a total of 27 months before finishing his time with the Army at the rank of captain. Gallion and his wife Candace traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to help encourage lawmakers to do what they can to help the ag/veteran connection. Chicoer.com reports on their mission.
- Another shout-out goes to Routt County Cattlewomen, a community-based organization that supports the beef industry through education, outreach and marketing. SteamboatSpringsToday.com reports that the RCCW annually gives scholarships to Routt County youth, and this year, they gave $11,500.
- Building coalitions of government and private enterprises is also critical. According to the Bismarck Tribune, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner is suggesting a coalition to help increase animal agriculture in the state.
- Here's some encouraging news from Indiana, an important farming state -- When the Wayne County 4-H Fair kicks off Saturday, fair goers will see more projects in the Kuhlman Center and in livestock barns. Enrollment in 4-H is up by more than 10 percent in the county, according to a story in the Pal-Item.
- We end this week's Super Six (actually Super Seven this week!) with an important announcement from the USDA in case you missed it. Eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period begins June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015, as reported by the Greensburg Daily News.