If you're already farming or in an ag-related job, stay there. If you're a youth in high school, or if your son or daughter or grandchildren are in high school, ask them to seriously consider a career in some form of agriculture. That's the message from Marcos Fernandez, associate dean of agriculture and head of academic programs for the college of agriculture.
Fernandez, Alan Matthew, head of the Animal Sciences Department, Purdue's largest department within the school of agriculture, and Tracie Eggers, an assistant to the leadership in the Purdue College of agriculture, visited Johnson County recently with Fernandez recently, and spoke to students and parents from the entire community during a session at Franklin Community High School. They were invited by Ken Zanzalari, parent of a Franklin FFA member and a nationally-known diary nutritionist.
The trio said the day was well spent, especially since they got to tell the message of Purdue agriculture to the counselors and administration of Franklin Community High School in one-on-one meetings. "We normally just can't get counselors to understand or even talk to us about our possibilities," Eggers says. "I believe the counselors here were impressed by how ,many degrees of study the College of Agriculture offers."
Fernandez had one simple message for both students and parents. "If there has ever been or ever will be a time to be involved in agriculture in some capacity, that time is now," he emphasizes. "Never in the history of the world has there been such a challenge laid out to feed the people of the future, with obstacles thrown in the way.
"Anyone who is looking for a career that will be challenging but rewarding and have the possible potential for a well-paying career, or a career doing something their passionate about, ought to consider receiving some sort of training in agriculture so that they're more appealing to potential employers."Now tis the time to be in agriculture, or to study in agriculture," he insists. "I keep saying it because it's true. There's never been a better time. Agriculture has a big challenge to meet in feeding the world. What Purdue students discover in the College of Agriculture may play a big part in helping meet that challenge."