Explore Ag

Thinking about careers in agriculture

What are you going to do after high school? How is a kid to decide what career path he or she will pursue? Maybe they know exactly what they would like to do or maybe they have no clue and are totally overwhelmed by the choices. There are lots of websites that will rank careers by all sorts of standards. Demand and availability, income potential, just to name a few.

What about a career in agriculture?

The most obvious careers are directly related to the farm or ranch. A very small percentage of the American population is involved in traditional farming, but there are about 22 million people who work in an agricultural-related field. Today’s agriculture offers more than 200 rewarding and challenging careers.

That’s why the Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation have partnered to bring four ExploreAg camps to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors to explore various careers in agriculture.

These camps held in June and July at Central State University and Ohio State University Columbus and Wooster campuses are a great way for students to explore possibilities. They will interact with and learn directly from teachers, scientists and industry leaders.

Subject areas include food science, precision agriculture, animal sciences, natural resources, management skills, technology and agricultural business. In addition to the college classroom and campus experiences, the kids will participate in field experiences that highlight cutting-edge research and various careers.

There will also be sessions to help prepare the participants for the workforce that will focus on interviewing, resume building and public speaking skills.

I asked a participant what he enjoyed most about the two camps he attended in 2018 and 2019 and he said it was visiting the veterinarian center and the Schmuckers and Rogans research centers. Another participant said what she enjoyed most was visiting Select Sires Inc.

Dairy farming with my husband for 21 years and working for an agricultural regulatory agency for more than 30 years, I understand that it takes an extensive and diverse support industry for agriculture to succeed. Continued advances in science and technology are driving the demand for skilled individuals in agriculture.

Ohio is projected to have 18,000 new jobs in agriculture through 2020. Why not explore how you or your child can be part of one of the most vital industries in the world.

The deadline to apply for this free program is March 6. The application and more details are available here.

Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau, who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communitites.