MI Ag Ideas to Grow With conference features sessions for young people

Online opportunities for youth to learn about farm safety, apprenticeships and record keeping.

According to the Michigan Farm Bureau, there are 54,400 agriculture-related job openings each year for people with a four-year graduate degree and that doesn’t include agriculture-related jobs. in the skilled trades. Michigan State University Extension invites young people ages 14-19 to learn more about the agriculture industry by attending the 2022 MI Ag Ideas to Grow With conference, taking place virtually from February 28 to March 31.

This unique virtual event combines former MSU expansion events such as Farm Day of Action, Branch County Farmer’s Day, and Southwest Michigan Horticulture Days, which have not traditionally had youth-focused sessions. Although young people are welcome to attend all sessions, there are also sessions designed specifically for young people during the week of March 14.

MI Ag Ideas to Grow With sessions for young people will include:

  • Farm Safety. The food industry employs 22% of Michigan workers. Working in agriculture and around animals is rewarding; but sometimes dangerous. According to the 2020 National Center for Rural and Farm Child Health and Safety Fact Sheet, “a child dies in an agriculture-related incident approximately every three days.” Most youth injuries and deaths occur near transportation, machinery, all-terrain vehicles or animals. Whether you’re visiting or working in agriculture, learn to recognize common hazards and prevent accidents on and around farms.
  • Record keeping. Where did I put this information? Keeping accurate records is important whether you own your own business, track personal finances, or need them for work. Learn how to keep records to get the most out of time and effort in many areas of life.
  • Learning 101. Learn about registered apprenticeships as a career option and build awareness of high-demand, high-paying occupations in Michigan related to agriculture and natural resources. Jobs and careers that may have recorded apprenticeships include welders, plumbers, farriers, some animal care and horticulture positions, as well as electricians and mechanics. Attend this session to learn more.

The three youth sessions will be offered in the morning, afternoon and evening. The morning and afternoon sessions will take place on Thursday March 17 and the evening sessions will take place on Monday March 14, Wednesday March 16 and Thursday March 17. All sessions will be held via the Zoom platform.

Deb Barrett, Senior Educator at MSU Extension, said, “This is the second year we’ve offered youth-focused sessions for ages 14-19. Educating young people about employment and career opportunities and fostering workforce readiness skills continue to be important for future success. »

The cumulative month-long MI Ag Ideas to Grow With conference encompasses many aspects of the agriculture industry and offers a full range of educational sessions for farmers and homeowners interested in food production or considering agricultural pursuits. Although there is no cost to participate, participants must register in order to receive the necessary Zoom links. Participants can attend as many sessions as they want and can also skip between tracks. RUP and CCA credits will be offered for many of the sessions. More information can be found on the MI Ag Ideas to Grow With website.

MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help prepare young people for a prosperous future. Through career exploration and workforce readiness activities, thousands of young people in Michigan are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce, and able to take financial responsibility for their personal lives. For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce readiness, financial education, or entrepreneurship, contact 4-HCareerPrep@msu.edu.

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