Youth Program to Explore Agricultural Careers 

Press Release submitted by Seneca County Commissioners/
Hallie Williams – OSU Extension Seneca County

Tiffin, Ohio — Ohio State University Extension is pleased to announce the launch of the first Agriculture Exploring Post in the nation. This program will focus on agricultural careers that are “In Demands Jobs.”

More than 200 jobs in Ohio are considered “in demand,” based on labor market information, job postings on OhioMeansJobs.com, Jobs Ohio regional forecasts and employer forecasts. Many of these jobs are based in agriculture or rely on agriculture.

The Exploring program offers students aged 14-20 the chance to learn life and career skills through immersive career experiences and mentorship, facilitated through Ohio State University Extension. The Exploring Agriculture post, based in Seneca County, but accepting all interested students, is designed to introduce youth to careers in agriculture throughout our community. Students can expect to “explore” agricultural careers via a series of monthly hands-on meetings from September 2019- April 2020. Each meeting will include visiting an area business and/or farm that serves the agricultural community and allowing students to learn not only about what they do/produce but also about the jobs needed for that business to thrive.

Students can expect to participate in hand-on activities and tours of businesses like Ag Credit and POET, as well as presentations about career paths in agriculture. High school students in and around Seneca County are encouraged to participate.

Hallie Williams, OSU Extension Agriculture Educator says, “Seneca County is a very strong agricultural county and as our Ag businesses grow, we need to make sure we have individuals ready to fill those positions. Our hope is that Exploring Agriculture will not only encourage our local youth to identify a career path that allows them to work in agriculture, but more importantly to keep them in the community.”

Exploring has existed for 70 years and enables students the opportunity to “Discover Their Future” through hands-on experiences. In the Black Swamp Area Council’s 13-county coverage area, there are 18 Exploring Posts focusing on a multitude of career fields, and serving 443 students. Exploring Executive, Matt Kibler, believes that a focus on Agriculture is needed. “This is a career field that is becoming more and more tech-based, and we need to make sure that we are keeping the pipeline full of future employees for our local businesses for years to come.”

The Seneca County 4-H Program within Ohio State University Extension is strong with nearly 1,000 youth participating. Katie Cole, 4-H Educator states, “We see the passion and commitment to the agriculture industry with many of these youth. With that being said, career development within the agriculture industry is definitely a topic that our youth have been inquiring about. This is our chance to make that happen right here in Seneca County.” 

Exploring Agriculture will host their kickoff event on September 24th, 2019 from 6-8pm at the Seneca Conservation District’s Miller Farm and will continue monthly in and around Seneca County.

To learn more about how your student, your business, or you can participate in Exploring Agriculture, please contact the Seneca County Extension office at 419-447-9722 or email cole.537@osu.edu or Williams.6386@osu.edu.

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