Reedsburg Times-Press: There’s been a lot of talk about skilled jobs in Wisconsin, but one career remains the state’s bread and butter.
America’s Dairyland needs a talented work force just as much as any state and, like others, is doing what it can to encourage students to go into science, technology, engineering and math fields. Agriculture has been a challenging industry that has seen the disappearance of family farms over several decades.
Area schools are working to reverse that trend not only by teaching kids about agriculture but showing them that numerous kinds of jobs exist in the sector.
Todd Cherney knows it’s best to start early when introducing children to agriculture. As an agriculture teacher at Reedsburg Area High School, he partners with area farmers to teach younger students about farming. In early May, the Reedsburg FFA hosted Food for America, where FFA members taught elementary school students about dairy, beef, pigs, sheep, horses, goats, poultry, feed and equipment.
Cherney said that kind of education benefits both elementary and high school students. Older teens learn leadership and public speaking from their presentations.
It’s not so easy to find students who are familiar with farming. Cherney said 25 percent of his students once came from family farms. Today, that figure is closer to 5 percent.