Local students take part in Ag Career Day

CHAZY - In a region of numerous farms, many students may think their only career option in the agricultural field would be farming. However, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute proved there is so much more.

On Oct. 1, students in grades 6 through 10 at Beekmantown, Brushton-Moriah, Chateaugay, Chazy, Northern Adirondack, Northeastern Clinton, Peru, and Saranac central schools gathered at the research institute for the second Ag Career Day.

According to CCE's 4H youth development educator Alexa King, the goal was "to introduce our area high school and middle school students to a wide-range of careers they can do in agriculture and to focus on all the local opportunities."

The first Ag Career Day was held two years ago, with an attendance of about 40 kids. King said this year's event was much larger, with an estimated 250 students participating.

The idea originally began two years ago by CCE. The institute was brought into the planning because they were considered a "natural partner," according to King.

"We all have very similar goals in this area," she explained.

This year brought in numerous businesses, colleges and organizations including Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum, Clinton Community College, Palmer Veterinary Clinic, and Farm Service Agency, to name a few.

"We really try to push the science, the business and all the other kinds of opportunities that exist, in addition to the opportunities out in the field," said King. "The idea that all these places are here in our county and Franklin County and Essex County and we need their skills and talents right here."

The career day also allowed students to participate in hands-on activities as well through numerous workshops.

"We also had interactive stations that the kids could go to and either participate in an activity they might do in that career or see a demonstration," King explained. "For instance, we had a presenter from Dairylea who did an activity where the kids were acting out how commodities and businesses interact in the dairy industry."

Overall, King felt the second career day was a success.

"I heard very positive responses," she said. "They seemed to enjoy being able to talk to a variety of people."

CCE and the research institute are planning to collaborate on future career days, although they may not be annually.

King also wanted to thank the businesses, colleges and agencies that donated their time to the event.

"That was really exciting," she said.

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