ExploreAg program introduces students to ag careers

Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation’s ExploreAg program kicked off in June with 43 high school students from across the state learning about the rewarding careers available in the food, fuel and fiber industries.

The students stayed for a week on Ohio State University’s main campus or at its Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster where they learned from experts about what the agriculture careers of today and tomorrow look like. The students, who are considering careers in science, technology or engineering, visited college labs, farm fields and factories. Subject matter included food science, precision agriculture, animal sciences, natural resources, management skills, technology and agricultural business.

“We believe that the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation can serve as a significant catalyst to attract young people to careers in agriculture,” said Chris Baker, the foundation’s executive director. “By funding programs like ExploreAg, we hope to connect the younger generation’s passions for science and technology with the tremendous career opportunities that exist in food and agriculture.”

The ExploreAg program is funded through the foundation’s Fisher Fund, named after former Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher. The foundation has committed $125,000 to the first two years of the program.

Participants in the two ExploreAg camps:

Jessie Abke of Shelby County; Desirae Allen, Matthew Byler, Lorenzo Szewczyk, Colby Turon and Mattie Wakefield of Trumbull County; Meghan Bhanoo, Francesca Carlo and Jenna Lusk of Cuyahoga County; Cale Bible of Coshocton County; Amina Blount, Evers Brandt, Turner Burns, Aurius Calloway, Gabriela Gant, Luke Jackson and Brianna Pecourt of Franklin County; Graham Carson and Gabe Pickerill of Fayette County; Anna Cox of Tuscarawas County; Anya Demshar of Lake County; Caleb Durheim and Garrett Harsh of Delaware County; Clarence Durliat and Josiah McKeown of Hancock County; Cassian Filbrun, Madeline Kellogg and Mason Weber of Ashland County; John Gilbert and Ansley Kozarec of Montgomery County; Maci Haitz of Brown County; Von Herron of Columbiana County; Grant Heuing of Mercer County; Sam Hoffman, Korin Johnson, Keegan Lilly and Kora Lilly of Fairfield County; Eliza Jones of Butler County; Victoria Nash and Bryce Schott of Knox County; Sydney Steinke of Auglaize County; Dean Wolfe of Union County, and Zach Zwiebel of Allen County.

Students attending the inaugural ExploreAg camps in June toured food science labs on Ohio State University campuses in Columbus and Wooster among many other sites as they learned about different careers in agriculture. Look for a more in-depth story about the ExploreAg program in the September/October issue of Our Ohio magazine.