From teaching children about the necessity of agriculture to analyzing data, jobs in the agricultural field continue to grow, leading more local students into that career path.

“Many agriculture jobs used to be a bit more focused on directly working with crops or animals, but now it’s more indirect,” said Sarah Hanson, agriculture and resource educator at the Purdue Extension Office. “More and more people are working on technology equipment, analyzing data and going into the laboratory.”

With fewer people working on a farm and more use of technology, there is a greater need for agriculture-based jobs, Hanson said.

Careers range from agriculture communications, which would involve writing for trade magazines, to testing crops and analyzing data in the lab.

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Shalee Daming enjoys teaching people of all ages about agriculture — which is why she wants to pursue a job as an agriculture educator. She will teach students about the necessity of agriculture and how they can get involved.

She was a 10-year 4-H’er and was part of FFA at Indian Creek High School for four years. While in 4-H, Daming had the opportunity to teach younger 4-H members from all across the state about how to show pigs and why 4-H is important. Helping kids was rewarding, so she knew she wanted to continue to do so after her time in 4-H was up, Daming said.

“This opened my eyes to how big of an impact I can have on all ages with a simple helpful hint with a project or speech,” Daming said.

“Seeing them grow was so rewarding, and I knew I wanted to continue to reach kids like that forever; therefore, I knew being an agriculture teacher would be the way to do that.”

Daming is studying education and agriculture at Purdue University in hopes of becoming an agriculture educator in a Johnson County middle school and to be an FFA advisor.

“The agriculture industry is constantly evolving and changing; we are always going to need farmers, agriculture teachers, agronomists and entomologists to keep the agriculture industry alive and well. And being the most needed industry in the world, a career in agriculture is one of the most promising,” Daming said.

After his freshman year of high school, Jaylin Brown knew he wanted to pursue a career as an arborist after spending most of his summer working for his dad at Brown’s Tree Service.

Climbing tall ladders and trimming trees isn’t what most people think of when they think of careers in agriculture, Brown said. But it’s something he is passionate about.

Aside from the everyday activities, he hopes to become educated in the chemical side of being an arborist, such as learning more about how the emerald ash borer is killing trees and what can be done about it, for example, and he eventually would like to be on the management side of the business.

If he could give advice to others wishing to pursue a career in arboriculture, it would be to take advantage of their high school years by joining clubs, like FFA, or taking classes that are hands on, like horticulture classes at Central Nine Career Center.

He also recommends finding a mentor in the industry, saying that really helped him figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

If you go

Thursday, July 20

9 a.m. — Mini 4-H Swine Show

10 a.m. — Mini 4-H Sheep Show (30 minutes after the mini 4-H swine show ends)

11 a.m. — 4-H and FFA Livestock Judging Contest, all species. (Indoor Arena, south end)

11 a.m. — RT2 (Read, Touch, Taste) for children ages 5-7 (Heritage Hall)

11:30 a.m. — 4-H & Open Class exhibits open to the public

1 p.m. — 4-H Horse & Pony – Fun Show (Horse Arena)

3 p.m. — Ag Career Round Table, sponsored by Farm Bureau)

4 p.m. — Master Showmanship Contest (Indoor Arena)

4-6 p.m. — Robotics Club demonstration (Magill Hall), sponsored by Duke Energy

5 p.m. — Midway opens

5-8 p.m. — Cooking demonstrations (Farm Bureau Building)

6 p.m. — 4-H Horse & Pony – Contesting Division (Horse Arena)

6-11 p.m. — Poor Jack Amusements Moonlight Madness on the Midway, unlimited ride bracelet $20 (weather permitting)

6-6:30 p.m. — Free Stage: Rockafellas, Franklin Community High School acoustic group

6:30 p.m. — Straw Scramble registration for kids ages 3-10 with four classes (limited to the first 30 kids entered in each class), free (Farm Bureau back lot)

6:30 p.m. — Celebrity Goat Milking Contest (Indoor Arena)

6:30-10 p.m. — Gospel Music in the “A” Tent (north of Scott Hall)

7 p.m. — Johnson County Antique Machinery Association Tractor Pull (Grandstands); info: www.jcamach.org

7 p.m. — Straw Scramble

7 p.m. — Farmer’s Olympics (Indoor Arena)

7 p.m. — Horseshoe pitching (west of Fair Office)

7 p.m. — Cash drawing at the day sponsor booth (Herring Hall entrance); must be present to win

7:30-9:30 p.m. — Free Stage: Barnes & Co.

11 p.m. — 4-H Beef, Dairy, Goats, Horse & Pony, Sheep, Swine released.