For years, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) has opened the doors to the Agricultural Research Centers to high school students from across the state. This is an opportunity for research centers to showcase its research, programs, and academic opportunities. The Career Exploration Days feature several CAFNR faculty and staff as well as MU Extension specialists as guest speakers.
“The focus of these days is to educate high school students about career opportunities in agriculture, food and natural resources,” said Shibu Jose, CAFNR’s associate dean of research. “The various speakers represent different career opportunities high school students can explore. It also provides an opportunity for students to explore what goes on at the Centers.”
Five Research Centers held Career Exploration Days this fall: Graves-Chapple, Hundley-Whaley, Southwest, Bradford and Wurdack.
Graves-Chapple had approximately 380 students with speakers including Tim Reinbott, Andy Luke, and Jim Humphrey.
“These days are important because students get to learn about modern agriculture. We had speakers talk about new technologies and processes used in agriculture,” said Jim Crawford, superintendent of the Graves-Chapple Research Center. “We have schools come from 1.5 hours away as well as from Iowa and Nebraska. We have new schools contacting us each year wanting to attend, which is fantastic.”
The Hundley-Whaley Research Center located in Albany had approximately 500 students from 20 different high schools in Northwest Missouri. Jennifer Miller, superintendent of the Hundley-Whaley Research Center, stated that Career Exploration Day is one of the center’s favorite events of the year.
“The purpose of the event is to excite students with hands-on presentations about agriculture along with introducing them to exciting careers,” said Miller. “Students walk through a series of 17-20 presentations throughout the day. We are extremely grateful to all the educators and volunteers that make this event possible.”
The office of Academic Programs in CAFNR also gets the opportunity to engage with the students. The team gets the chance to talk to students about programs offered through CAFNR and the CAFNR experience.