Since March we’ve all quickly learned to connect virtually with family, friends, church, school and work colleagues. For some it’s meant organizing family game nights online. For others it’s been business as usual, virtually connecting with coworkers across the state.
For high school students the pandemic has meant an abrupt end to spring field trips and in-school career fairs — often a launching point for career choices, influencing paths toward further training and education.
Michigan Farm Bureau stepped up to help fill that void.
A series of nine virtual Be Agriculture Career Panels each focused on a specific sector of agriculture, food and natural resource careers by interviewing three professionals from within those sectors.
Questions ranged from outlining daily responsibilities to the less desirable aspects of the job and required training and continuing education. Some panelists shared experiences with fewer than five years in an occupation while others offered advice from a more tenured view.
“I grew up on a farm and learned about agricultural engineering from an MSU prof who took time to visit FFA chapter meetings,” said Todd Forbush, an engineer at Techmark, Inc and one of the panelists in the Be Scientific session. “That’s why I feel this venue you’ve created is so valuable. We never know who the next world changing agriculture leader will be!”
Each video is approximately 45 minutes long. A guided questions worksheet is available to help students further investigate a career. Additional information about Be Agriculture Career materials is available on the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom website.
Here’s the full rundown of Be Ag sessions and their panelists, with links to their online videos:
Be Business Minded — Are you a natural leader? Do you enjoy coordinating people, finances and activities to make sure plans run smoothly? Careers in this pathway connect the business world with agriculture by determining how to effectively use resources for profit.
Be the Caregiver — If you enjoy working with and caring for animals of all sizes, consider an animal science path. You can help increase proficiency in the ways farmers breed, feed and treat animals.
Be Scientific — Unleash your inner scientist! Professionals in this field often have a strong interest in biology, chemistry or physics. Careers in this field use scientific technologies to help farmers raise plants and animals more effectively.
Be the Process — From the recipe to the packaging to the nutrients it provides our bodies, be a part of the food chain! Battle single use plastics, help people maintain healthy diets, or be the connection between farm and table.
Be Constructive — Be constructive by using technical, hands-on skills to repair, lead and oversee projects in agriculture. Work with farm machinery, agricultural buildings, greenhouses or wind turbines in this continuously growing career segment.
Be Grounded — Be grounded in a career that allows you to care for the land, advise farmers and landowners, and maintain pristine sports turf. Use your hands-on skills and technical insight to build a career in this segment.
Be Resourceful — Leave the Earth better than you found it while you explore a career in this track. Locate and prevent potential threats to our natural resources and environment.
Be the Change — Are you interested in helping to shape the future of the agricultural industry? Engage with citizens of all ages to help them understand the importance of the agricultural industry at the local, national and international levels.
Be the Story — Be the story in a career pathway that helps to creatively communicate the message of agriculture. Create videos, graphics, social media posts and stories to help captivate consumer and agricultural audiences, alike.
Be Agriculture Careers programming is provided by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, which positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.