By: Beth Noel, 1st Year Agricultural Science Major, Teaching Pathway
137 agriculture enthusiasts from throughout California met in San Luis Obispo for the second annual State Agriculture Ambassador Conference at the end of January. Junior Agricultural Communications students Quincie Gourley and James Broaddus planned the event as their senior project, along with the Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors. In the past Cal Poly has hosted the National Ag Ambassador Conference and with the success of this years’ state conference, members hope to bring it back soon. The two-day leadership conference consisted of networking with industry professionals, meeting other Ag Ambassadors, and leadership development.
On Saturday, round-robin table talk allowed representatives from Dow Agrosciences, AgriCorps, and other companies to showcase the opportunities they have available and gave an inside look at their workshops planned for later in the day. Members then got to attend workshops by these companies that highlighted their career interests. For many ag education students, like myself, this included the California Teach Ag workshop and for ag business students they could attend the Farm Credit workshop.
Students shared their career goals. My favorite was a student’s passion to move to Montana and manage a buffalo herd while others were still looking for the career path that stood out to them. The night ended with Cal Poly’s Alpha Gamma Rho serving a tri-tip dinner and a barn dance in the Farm Shop. On Sunday each school led their own workshop highlighting their own college’s strengths, how to network, ways to find character strengths in a team, and games of agriculture jeopardy and family feud.
The conference was a great opportunity for college students with a passion for agriculture to express themselves and grow as leaders. The Agriculture Ambassadors are grateful for all the sponsors, faculty, and members who made this happen. We also are thankful for the companies that sent representatives to teach students about the opportunities in the agriculture industry.