Generations of agriculture careers are on display all week at the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Jefferson County. The annual event kicked off this morning with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. where we met the 2019 hosts, the Walter family. Four generations of the Walter family were present to welcome visitors from across the state to their grain farm. Currently, the Walter family raises 6000 acres of crops and runs a custom land tiling business.
New to the show this year was the Ag Career Day. Today, students in grades seven through 12 were invited to participate in an interactive career scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt highlighted different career options within the Wisconsin agriculture community. One in nine jobs in the state of Wisconsin are related to agriculture, and that truly was on display at the show. Of course, I joined in on the scavenger hunt fun to explore the highlighted careers!
The first stop I made was at the Culver’s booth. At their station, scavenger hunt members wrote thank you notes to farmers. What a great way to start the hunt! Farmers are the backbone of not only Farm Technology Days, but all of Wisconsin agriculture. I am so glad I had the chance to write a note in appreciation for all they do.
My next stops highlighted agriculture machinery. Participants learned about different pieces of equipment, and what careers are available at agriculture equipment manufactures. Assemblers, fabricators, welders and design engineers are all necessary for companies like Kuhn North America to run.
Drones and cell phone apps are also part of agriculture! Next, the scavenger hunt led me to DroneDeploy, a drone company that is working with farmers to map their fields. Data analytics jobs are essential to this agriculture business. The University of Wisconsin Extension booth showcased a commodity price calculation app for farmers to use when making purchasing and selling decisions. App development and computer programming careers help farmers make more informed decisions for their business.
I wrapped up my hunt at the beef tent. Equity shared great insights on careers in the Wisconsin beef industry. More than 16,000 farms in our state have more than one beef animal, and as a whole, the beef industry employs 35,100 people. From farmers, to processors, to marketers, the job opportunities are plenty with Wisconsin beef.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days truly highlights the diversity of agriculture careers available in our state. Whether you are interested in plant gene editing, animal handling, or financial services, there is a place for everyone who wants to work in Wisconsin agriculture.