Career Challenge and Interactive Exhibit Highlight Diversity and Value of Agriculture-Related Careers
NY Agriculture in the Classroom, Future Farmers of America Students and Industry Members Help Demonstrate the Possibilities in Agriculture
Participants Entered to Win Free iPads
The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets are partnering again this year to promote agricultural careers at The Great New York State Fair. Agriculture Career Day at the Fair will be held Thursday, August 23 to get young people excited about the many possibilities for future jobs in the industry. An educational scavenger hunt, the Career Challenge, and interactive exhibit will give youth a chance to learn about a wide variety of career options and connect directly with industry representatives.
State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “The agricultural industry is critical to the New York State economy, so it is imperative that young people are aware of the career options available to them in this important field. Agriculture Career Day is a great way to expose students to these different opportunities in a fun and exciting way, and the DOL is happy to be partnering with the Department of Agriculture to make this event a success.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are proud to team up the Department of Labor to bring Agriculture Career Day back to the Fair this year. Both on and off the farm, there are countless opportunities when it comes to working in agriculture and we’re excited to share that with our young people. We hope this experience will open up new possibilities and expose fairgoers to ideas and career paths that they perhaps never thought of before."
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Ag Career Day is the perfect complement to the Fair’s educational efforts and programming and there’s no better place than the Fair for young people to get an up-close look at agriculture. We had a lot of families and young people participating in last year’s event and we hope to grow that number this year. I encourage every young person at the Fair to stop by the Agriculture Career Day tent and check out what it has to offer.”
As part of Agriculture Career Day, event participants will enjoy the Career Challenge and enter to win free iPads. The Career Challenge is a scavenger hunt around the Fairgrounds, where participants visit pre-designated stations that tie in with an agriculture career path to learn more about the various agriculture-related careers available to young people today and in the future. Registration for the event will be held at the Administration Building by the main gate. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is open to fair visitors ages 12 to 24. The first 500 participants will receive a free drawstring backpack.
Fairgoers participating in the Career Challenge will visit each educational station, where they will learn from Future Farmers of America (FFA) state officers and members from FFA chapters across the State, as well as adults who are already working in the industry, about the careers being highlighted and related career opportunities. Following each presentation, the volunteers will give each person participating a sticker to fill an empty slot on a playing card. Participants who visit six out of the nine sites on the scavenger hunt and return their completed play cards to the Agriculture Career Day tent outside of the Administration Building by 2 p.m. will be entered in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Three iPads will be given out. The drawing will be held at 2:30 p.m. Participants need to be present to win.
An interactive exhibit will also be on display in front of the Administration Building from 10 a.m. to 3p.m. Representatives from the Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets will be joined by New York Agriculture in the Classroom, SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Morrisville representatives, and members of various industry organizations to provide valuable information about agricultural career opportunities in New York State.
Agriculture in the Classroom staff will provide on exciting demonstration related to bio-technology in agriculture, showing young people and other fairgoers how to extract DNA from strawberries. For the second consecutive year, SUNY Cobleskill will also be highlighting its Agricultural Engineering Technology John Deere program, which links students interested in the technical aspects of modern John Deere agriculture, construction and forestry equipment with a number of dealerships located throughout the Northeast who are seeking well-trained individuals to work for them. In many instances, dealers will underwrite a portion of a student’s educational expenses in exchange for a commitment to work for them after graduation. This will help bridge the gap between students and potential employers and ensure a more trained workforce in the region.
Morrisville State College will also showcase its agriculture programs, which lead to dynamic local and international careers within the food system. The college will have on display an array of products developed by students as well as produce from the Horticulture Institute’s organic farm.
Katie Carpenter, Director, New York Agriculture in the Classroom, said, “Agriculture as a profession is innately hands-on, and on this day celebrating the hundreds of careers in agriculture, we want to give fairgoers an opportunity to experience the phenomena of our food, fiber, and natural resource industries. Participating in Agriculture Career Day helps us fulfill our mission of increasing the agricultural literacy of our society, so that all people are able to understand and communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our daily lives.”
Timothy W. Moore, Ed.D., Dean of SUNY Cobleskill’s School of Agriculture & Natural Resources, said, “SUNY Cobleskill’s focus on applied education leads to exciting careers that many people do not know exist. The John Deere program develops technical skills and leadership capacity in students so that they develop a partnership with a John Deere dealer and have a fulfilling, well-paying job waiting for them upon graduation. It’s truly a win-win for students and our local economy.”
Christopher Nyberg, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morrisville State College said, “We are happy to participate in Ag Career Day at the NYS Fair. We look forward to sharing what SUNY Morrisville has to offer students seeking careers in agriculture and other associated career fields.”
New York FFA State President, Kristi Ann Frank said, “This day at the Fair is a great way to give the public insight into the agricultural industry and encourages them to discover careers in agriculture. We are working hard to inform youth about all the opportunities available in the industry today—Ag Career Day at the Fair is just one of many ways we can do that. New York FFA is proud to be a part of this exciting event.”
In addition to Agriculture Career Day, New York students from across the State show off skills in agriculture, science and robotics during all 13 days of the Fair. Demonstrations take place daily in the Youth building and FFA building on the west side of the Fairgrounds. A complete schedule of events can be found here.
The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.
The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr.com/photos/nysfair. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at firstname.lastname@example.org.