Photo Credit: Nate Manley | QConline

On May 18th, students from United Township Education Center attended an event called “Leaders in the Field.” This event is an educational program hosted by the John Deere Foundation. 29 UTEC students and 15 North Scott High School students came together at Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farms for the event.

Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farms is a 4,000-acre dairy, corn, and soybean farm that is ranked second in the nation for milk production from Jersey cows. It is owned by John and Joan Maxwell, who use John Deere equipment on the farm.

The event started with a video presentation that showed an overview of Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farms. Once the video was over, Mr. Maxwell talked about his experience growing up on a farm and getting started in agriculture. He talked about encountering failure, and how he believed you have to fail a few times before you get better.

Students also go to visit the dairy, ride tractors and combines, were shown welding demonstrations, were taught about small engines, and learned about how drones are helping the agriculture industry. Many of the students were surprised by the amount of technology that farmers use every day.

UTEC is focused on helping United Township High School students who are at a risk of dropping out. They felt that this event could teach the students a whole new perspective on agriculture and show them the several options it offers through a hands-on experience.

According to Nate Clark, an associate director of corporate citizenship for Deere and vice president of the John Deere Foundation, John Deere is investing in the future of its company. The population is expected to be near 9.7 billion people by 2050. To be able to feed a world of that size, farmers will need to double our current agriculture production. The Leaders in the Field event exposes high school students to potential career opportunities in the field of agriculture.  John Deere is connected to farmers and the community and is looking to make connections with the younger, future generations.

To read more about the event, go to: http://www.qconline.com/news/local/deere-program-opens-kids-eyes-to-possible-jobs-in-agriculture/article_5d4eb4a7-d505-5b88-89f6-9ca1cdeaad63.html

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