Ohio Farmer

Grants to help young people get into ag, related industries

The funding is offered by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Youth Pathways initiative.

April 13, 2020

3 Min Read
Young woman checking crop in summer
GRANT RECIPIENTS: Two nonprofits, the Hocking County Farm Bureau and the PAST Foundation, are recipients of a total of $116,900 in grants for 2020. Jevtic/Getty Images

Leveraging the resources of the Fisher Fund, Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation launched a Youth Pathways initiative in 2018, focused on introducing students to and training them for careers in food, agricultural and environmental sciences. Each year, Ohio organizations are invited to submit proposals for innovative projects to attract more young people to careers in these fields.

Hocking County Farm Bureau and the PAST (Partnering Anthropology with Science and Technology) Foundation are recipients of funding for 2020. A total of $116,900 will assist these two nonprofits as they develop programming to prepare students for postsecondary training or direct placement in food, agricultural and environmental sciences industries.

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Hocking County Farm Bureau will use its grant funds for a project, Careers in Agricultural Cooperatives: Co-op Leadership Experience. Hocking County Farm Bureau will partner with the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives to create a program showcasing career exploration in agriculture through the lens of cooperatives. The project will engage Appalachian students in the classroom and in an immersive, two-day experience. Students will visit OSU to experience college-style learning, discover educational and career paths in agriculture, tour agricultural cooperative businesses, connect with leaders and engage in hands-on leadership and team-building activities.

“Giving students ideas about ways they can be a part of agriculture in their careers is truly eye-opening,” says Ivory Harlow, organization director for Hocking County Farm Bureau. “This grant will enhance this program and make it even more beneficial to the youth and to the future of Ohio agriculture.”

PAST Foundation and partners

I Know I Can, a college access program in Columbus; and Ohio State’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering will partner with PAST Foundation on an AgriBot Design Challenge. The majority of future career opportunities in agriculture are in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, which require a foundational understanding of science, technology and engineering, as well as literacies in math, finance, critical thinking, commitment, collaboration and problem-solving. With this grant, Ohio State and PAST plan to develop a series of relational, hands-on activities that teach critical scientific concepts associated with agriculture and engineering; engage students; and expose them to broad career opportunities. The partners intend the activities ultimately to be the foundational components in an annual AgriBot Design Challenge.

“We recognize that building partnerships is critical to identifying future career options and integral to our long-term success,” says Andy Bruening, PAST director of bridge programs and operational director for the Center of Robotics Innovation at PAST.

Experts from OSU CFAES and OSU Extension came together to help make this program possible.

“With the AgriBot Design Challenge, we see an exciting opportunity to engage middle school youth in engineering design at the intersection of agriculture and technology,” says Howard Greene, director of K-12 education outreach, OSU College of Engineering. “By exposing students to authentic problem solving in agriculture, we hope to create career trajectories that don’t presently exist.”

To learn more or to apply for a scholarship or grant, visit ofbf.org/foundation.

Source: Ohio Farm Bureau, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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