GrowNextGen collaborated with the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Corn & Wheat on a special program to help students find their future career. Feed and Fuel Your Future consisted of 4 weeks of virtual field trips, lessons, and career panels.

Week Two, Food production, started with a virtual field trip to Nathan Eckel’s farm in Wood County. It’s harvest time, so Eckel talked about the growth stages of soybeans and how a combine works. He also talked about the many uses of soybeans, from inks and paints to animal feed and biodiesel.

The virtual lesson on Smart Farming covered the decisions farmers must make throughout the year, from pre-planting to post-harvest. What crops to plant? When to harvest? GrowNextGen education leader Jane Hunt presented issues in nature that affect yield and food production, discussing how these phenomena affect farmers and food prices.

A career panel on agribusiness provided a variety of perspectives on opportunities for students. Andrew Gladden, IT director at Luckey Farms Co-op and Jaysen Rump of Sunrise Co-op shared about how they became involved in agribusiness. Each talked about what a day in their workweek looks like and what skills are useful. Jaqethea Johnson, a student in agriculture economics at University of Kentucky, talked about how she became aware of the variety of careers in her field and what she hoped to do in the future. Technology plays a large part in agribusiness, making things more efficient and productive for farmers and those who work with them.

Feed and Fuel Your Future will conclude with two weeks presented by Ohio Corn & Wheat, focusing on Sustainability and ecosystems and Technology. You can access GrowNextGen’s parts of the program on our YouTube channel.