Agriculture careers spotlighted at symposium

An Agriculture Career Symposium is being held at South Plains College for those who are interested in the field of agriculture.

The Agriculture Career Symposium will be held Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., in the Texan Dome on the Levelland campus.

The symposium is designed not only for students at South Plains College, but also for students in high school. The goal is to try to expose people to the opportunities within the agriculture industry.

The Agriculture Career Symposium will feature Matt Rush, a nationally known speaker, who will give the keynote address. Rush has an agricultural background from New Mexico, and puts a lot of “farm boy” humor into his speeches.

According to Dave Cleavinger, professor of agriculture at SPC, more than 300 area high school students and 40 vendors are expected to participate in the event.

“Those 40 professional vendors are representatives from all areas of the Texas Tech Collage of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, CASNR,” Cleavinger said. “Students will go down on the floor of the Dome and they are going to go to an area that might interest them.”

The professional vendors who will be there are going to tell students what they do and show them their educational process that got them there.

Cleavinger said he is hoping the symposium will give students some career goals, and that it will also open up some new areas students never realized were available to pursue in the field of agriculture.

The goal is to expose students to many of the vast opportunities which are available in agriculture in order to recruit a new diverse generation of agriculturalists. Opportunities include the fields of economics, engineering, communications, education, food science, and agronomy.

“Very few people realize all the areas that agriculture encompasses,” Cleavinger said. “From chemists to bankers, to wine making to landscape architecture… Ag communications, animal science, veterinary. It’s so much more than what the average person just considers to be agriculture. That’s what this (Agriculture Career Symposium) is for.”

Figuring out what direction to take for a career can be difficult, especially in the field of agriculture; according to Ron Presley, professor of agriculture at SPC.

“The South Plain College’s Agriculture department’s question to each of our students is ‘where are you headed?’,” said Presley. “What we’re trying to do is welcome students into a very large, diverse, and vibrant industry. We are hoping that this symposium will achieve success in many of our goals. One: making young people think about where they’re going. Two: Giving them a very diverse projection of the many places they can be headed. Three: enthusing them to be getting into the industry at some level, because they’re going to make great company owners.”

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