A thousand students in grades 7 through 12 from 20 high schools across Wisconsin will have a unique opportunity to explore jobs within agriculture at this year’s Jefferson County Farm Technology Days as event organizers have planned their first-ever Ag Career Day and Career Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, July 23.
“Cheesehead Express” buses will provide free transportation for students from 10 different locations in Wisconsin on Tuesday, heading to Farm Technology Days for the first-ever Ag Career Day. Students also receive free admission to Wisconsin’s largest celebration of agriculture, along with a free Ag Career Day T-shirt, a free scoop of Culver’s custard and other goodies donated by businesses, organizations and educational institutions.
Starting at the Future Generations Center on the event’s grounds, students will receive a scavenger hunt clue sheet to help find 12 Career Exploration Stops, three stations where extra clues can be uncovered and four “selfie stations” to enjoy and record their time at Farm Technology Days. From animal handling to genetic engineering in corn to ag finance to skilled trades to robotic milking and more, students will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of agriculture careers available to them in Wisconsin and beyond.
Using cow monitoring technology provided by Allflex Livestock Intelligence, each student will wear a cow ear tag with an RFID button on it to track their path as they complete the scavenger hunt. Before obtaining their scan at each location, students will be asked to answer a “Career Takeaway” question at each stop.
Kim Bremmer, a nationally recognized motivational agriculture speaker and founder of Ag Inspirations, will also share her thoughts with students participating in Ag Career Day. She will be giving three presentations to students with a focus on agriculturists positioning responses to critics.
“She plans to make students aware of the voices and groups that may put a negative spin on an ag practice or process,” Pete Curran said. “And because of that, she’ll give students some tips on ‘positioning’ their response to those that may challenge them.”
Upon returning to the Future Generations Area, students will then have the opportunity to fill out a “Thank You Farmers” card from Culver’s that will be sent to more than 400 Century Farms in Jefferson County as a special thank you to those working in agriculture within the county.
“Pioneer Pete” Curran of Pioneer Seeds has taken the lead on this new venture, along with Whitewater High School student teacher Dustin Winkleman. The duo focused on combining many hands-on activities to create an event that would help share the career opportunity story of Wisconsin agriculture.
“Ag Career Day is a great opportunity for students to see the different careers in agriculture and network with real business leaders to help build connections that they may be able to use in the future when they are searching for a career,” Winkleman said.