Ohio Farm Bureau’s Explore Ag summer camps engage students in various careers in science, engineering and technology in the food, fuel, and fiber industry needed to face our world’s challenges. Through hands-on tours and activities in state-of-the-art laboratories, campers get a unique look at these STEM careers. And this summer, a new option included training in entrepreneurship.

Targeted to high school students across the state, this three-day camp took place at Hocking College. The goal was to inspire students to consider entrepreneurship and agriculture as a career.

GrowNextGen provided outreach ambassadors to act as counselors during this event. A diverse group of 16 campers attended, the majority from the Dayton area. Participants gained exposure to different careers in various agricultural industries, development of entrepreneurial mindsets, and familiarity with startup businesses and careers in local industries.

The students were given the task of creating a business that would solve some of the common problems associated with agriculture. Before working on their business plan, they had the opportunity to take educational tours with Hocking College. The tours consisted of natural resources, aquaculture, equine science, and agricultural ecology sites. With the knowledge gained from these tours, the students were put into groups to pitch a business plan. The business would have to sell a product to somehow make money while solving real-life problems.

Comments from students included “I have always been interested in entrepreneurship, but now I really want to work or own a business in agriculture!” and “I had no idea Hocking College existed and now I really think it will be a good option for me after I graduate.” Ambassador Ryan Patton, an Ohio State University student, said, “I gained practical experience that I can take with me to my future classroom.”

Remember, our ambassadors are available to share their knowledge with your students! Request a visit here.