South East Farm Press Logo

Jenkins Farms Ag Career Day allowed students to network and learn about other opportunities in the field of agriculture.

Brad Haire, Executive Editor

March 15, 2024

3 Min Read
Ryan Jenkins with local FFA students on his farm in Jay, Fla., learning and enjoying good fellowship.Brad Haire

Ryan Jenkins brought local FFA students to his Jay, Fla., farm recently. They met and heard from a dozen ag professionals who don’t farm. And Jenkins said that’s important.

“Today’s our Jenkins Farms Ag Career Day. We've got our local FFA chapters from the area, and the whole goal is to help show the kids that there are tons of opportunities in agriculture that's not necessarily the guy driving the tractor,” Jenkins said. “Everybody can't own a farm.”

On March 7 at his farm, about 90 FFA students from four schools heard more than a dozen agricultural professionals, both college and non-college graduates, tell their stories about the twisting paths they took to where they are today. None took a direct career route to their current roles and that’s OK.

Presenters included agronomists, an ag lender, a self-taught mechanic, a forester, ag salespeople, engineers and several other ag-related fields.

“One part of the story that's so important to me is not a single person who presented today ended up doing exactly what they thought they were going to do in their careers. There’re no straight lines in life. So, I wanted (the students) to see that, hey, you work hard, and you keep putting one foot in front of the other, things are going to work out,” he said.

He knows the FFA students love agriculture. “But I don't want it to end when they graduate. Hopefully, from this, they’ll see some job opportunities that they may not have connected with before, and still stay in agriculture” he said.

‘We’ve got to tell our story’

It takes effort and planning to organize an event like this, but Jenkins said other farmers should find the time to host similar events on their farms.

“I highly encourage it. Most farmers want to be on their farm, do their own thing and not really interact with a lot of outside noise. But at the same time, we've got to tell our story. This is one way we get to tell our story to these kids. We get to help them along the way, and we get to fill some voids that might be there otherwise,” he said.

After the seed of the ag career day planted in his head, Jenkins contacted local high school agricultural advisers. “You wouldn't believe how much support you'll get from them and how much they need something like this,” he said. “By partnering with them, we get to showcase our farm and our practices and maybe help put some of those bad myths to the side that people hear about regarding in agriculture.”

Bri Jackson is a senior FFA student at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, Ala.

“I loved ag career day at Jenkins farm. It helped me understand how many options there are in agriculture. The speakers showed me that there are many different paths to become successful in your life and do what you love. I’m very thankful for the Jenkins family for putting this event together and helping the younger generations pursue their future in agriculture,” said Jackson, who is enrolled to start Auburn University’s agricultural communications program.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like