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N.Y. to Hold First-Ever Ag Career Day at State Fair
New York Ag Connection - 09/01/2017

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the State Department of Labor partner to promote agriculture careers at The Great New York State Fair. The first-ever Agriculture Career Day at the Fair will be held Sept. 1, to get young people excited about the many possibilities for future jobs in the industry. A scavenger hunt and interactive exhibit will give youth a chance to learn about a wide variety of career options and connect directly with industry representatives.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Young people are the future of our industry and it is more important now than ever before to get them excited about all the incredible opportunities for successful, meaningful careers in this field. We are proud to team up the Department of Labor to bring Agriculture Career Day to the Fair and hope to continue this effort for years to come."

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The agricultural industry is an ever-growing, ever-changing one. It's critical that young people across New York know what their options in this exciting field look like, and that's what this event is all about. I invite all young women and men, even if they've never considered an agricultural career before, to join in on the fun and learn about what's available to them. I thank the dedicated Agriculture and Markets, State Fair and Department of Labor teams who made this day possible and I look forward to a great time at the Fair."

Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, "Every year we look for opportunities to bring new and exciting programming to the Fair, and in this case, we have a chance to provide a valuable service to the future workforce at the same time. I encourage every young person at the Fair to stop by the Agriculture Career Day tent and check out what it has to offer."

The Department of Labor has created a scavenger hunt to raise awareness of and educate young people on the various agriculture-related careers available to them today and in the future. Registration will be held at the Administration Building by the main gate. The event will run from 10a.m. to 2p.m., and is open to fair visitors ages 12 to 24. The first 500 participants will receive a drawstring backpack with a guide and map for the scavenger hunt.

Participants will be given a card with different locations around the fair on it. They will be tasked with visiting each area and finding the scavenger hunt ambassador. Once they have learned about the career being highlighted in each area, they will be given a sticker to fill an empty slot on their card. Participants who return their completed play cards to the Agriculture Career Day tent outside of the Administration Building by 2p.m. will be entered in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Two iPads will be given out. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. Participants do not need to be present to win.

An interactive exhibit will be on display in front of the Administration Building on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3p.m. Representatives from the Departments of Labor and Agriculture and Markets will be joined by members of various industry organizations to provide valuable information about agricultural career opportunities in New York State.

Representatives from SUNY Cobleskill and Cazenovia Equipment will be on-hand to provide details about their John Deere TECH program, designed to align students completing Associate in Applied Science degrees with dealers looking for well-educated and highly skilled technicians. This program allows students to benefit from the dealer's mentoring and internship opportunities while they are taking classes. SUNY Cobleskill is the only college in New York State and the entire Northeast to offer this program.

In addition, Cazenovia Equipment will provide demonstrations in precision agriculture and new drone technology being used on farms across the State. They will also provide information about a state-of-the-art farming equipment that will be on display at the exhibit. Chobani will provide information on yogurt production and allow visitors to view live cultures under a microscope. The Future Farmers of America and Ag in the Classroom organizations will also offer hands-on activities to teach guests about growing, harvesting and packing foods from the farm.

Terry Hughes, Agriculture Education Specialist, Cornell University, said, "The NYS FFA is excited to be a part of the inaugural Agriculture Career Day at The Great NY State Fair. FFA members from across the state will be stationed at 9 different locations around the fairgrounds sharing the diverse Career Pathways of the agriculture, food, and natural resources industry with the public. Come speak directly with student leaders enrolled in Agricultural Education to find out how the FFA is helping them develop premier leadership skills, achieve academic and personal growth, and prepare for career success."

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President, said, "Modern agriculture is full of diverse job opportunities on and off the farm. From animal science and GPS guided crop management to food processing and agricultural communications, the options are endless for young people today to explore exciting careers connected to the farm. New York Farm Bureau is happy to be a part of the first ever Agricultural Career Day at the Great New York State Fair, and we look forward to sharing the potential that exists in New York agriculture."

Dr. Marion Terenzio, President, SUNY Cobleskill, said, "SUNY Cobleskill is a proud partner of the Great New York State Fair and we are excited to participate in Agriculture Career Day to educate young people about the vast potential of careers in this dynamic industry. As the home to some of the nation's most renowned Agricultural Engineering Technology programs and the only college in the Northeast to offer the John Deere TECH program, we have a unique opportunity to set students on a path to success early on. We look forward to connecting with visitors during this event and hope they leave with a better understanding of New York agriculture and the possibilities it offers."

Dr. David Rogers, President, Morrisville State College, said, "Morrisville State College has been at the Great New York State Fair for nearly 40 years as an active participant, both learning and teaching the public about the changes in agriculture and technology. What was once old is new again. As we make new discoveries, we reach back to time-tested methods and practices to give them new application in a modern world. Engaging young people is critical and I hope every participant in this event will gain valuable knowledge as they enjoy their day at the Fair."

In addition to Agriculture Career Day, New York students from across the State show off skills in agriculture, science and robotics during all 13 days of the Fair. Demonstrations take place daily in the Youth building and FFA building on the west side of the fairgrounds.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs through Sept. 4. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

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