Ag Career and College Fair Connecting GFW Students with Local Agribusiness Community

While there are lots of ways for our students to explore career options, learn meaningful and useful skills, and find help for pursuing additional education, the recent Ag Career and College Fair was a truly amazing example of all of those things coming together. With help from the GFW Pioneer Express Chapter, students were able to head to the business center in GFW Middle School and High School and connect with more than 20 local businesses, educational options, and industry professionals. Mr Werner was on hand to interview participants and we heard some wonderful things. 

The event was actually postponed from National FFA week back in February due to inclement weather conditions and there was a lot of excitement for the rescheduled event. Vendors represented a great mix of companies that support FFA and our CTE classes as well as college options that provide agricultural courses. Mirinda Goblish and FFA students organized and planned the career fair, and there was a ton of energy in the room.

“I really enjoyed talking to all the businesses and learning about what they had to offer,” said Eden Messerli. “It has been so amazing and we talked to so many people from the mechanical and business side since I want to go into Ag Business,” added Nicole Sievert. “I liked seeing what different companies were all about and what I could do if I worked there,” said Abby Willigal. “This is a good experience for everyone and we hope to do some more in the future!”

Representatives shared information with students about potential career pathways in the future as well as options for part time jobs or internships in order to explore different opportunities before graduation. 

“My main advice to students is to keep your opportunities open and be networking with people to learn more,” said Rick Ansel from Central Crop Consulting. “Don’t be afraid to try something new outside of your comfort zone!”

Junior Owen Ahlbrecht shared that the fair showed students a variety of job and career options.

“There’s a lot of different diesel programs if you want to become a diesel mechanic and companies that are willing to pay for scholarships, schooling and tools,” said Owen. “There are some careers coming right out of high school with on the job training provided.” 

In addition to providing information about the industry, representatives had great advice for students. 

“Get out and try to do everything, get involved, do some job shadowing and try a little bit of everything so you don’t get stuck on one thing,” said Alex Portner from UFC. “I started out as an intern and when I was done with college, I had a full time job, which is a great thing about the ag industry”

“The biggest thing I can recommend is to network with different businesses,” said Megan Hoffmann from Central Region Cooperative. “You never know where your path is going to go throughout your life and it’s important to make connections with businesses and folks in the industry.” 

Giving students access to explore different career paths is what drives the academies and focus on career and technical education at GFW Public Schools. We share with students that there are a variety of options out there whether it is entering the workforce, pursuing training and certifications, or higher education in a two or four year program. These lessons were echoed by industry leaders during the event. 

“There are so many job opportunities in agriculture here in rural Minnesota and we encourage young adults to stay in this area to live and work,” said Curt Burns from CB Agronomics. “It's so fun seeing young people interacting with employers and employees and learning about what’s out there!” 

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this great event for our students and created so many opportunities to explore more about an industry that is so important to our community.