Linn County Farm Bureau Education Outreach presented at Open Minds, Open Doors; a half-day conference at Coe College intended to encourage middle school girls (7th-8th grades) to pursue career fields with foundations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The annual conference offers young women the opportunity to experience STEM careers through hands-on breakout sessions, expo booths and conversations with local industry professionals.
Over 20 students attended “Ag will hire you,” a breakout session presented by Linn County Farm Bureau Education Outreach. The session focused on solving real-world challenges. The world's population is expected to increase to 9 billion people by the year 2050. The amount of land available for planting will decrease. Farmers will need to produce more food on less land. To add to this, over 1/3 of all food produced is wasted; in the field, during transportation, at the grocery store or in our refrigerators. It is important to maximize efficiency while being sustainable in order to produce enough food to feed our growing world.
Students worked in groups to brainstorm possible solutions to the proposed challenge. They then discovered a variety of technical career fields relating to their possible solutions including; farming, packaging, transportation, agronomy, genetics, precision agriculture, software engineering, manufacturing, education, marketing and graphic design.
Following two breakout sessions, the participants headed to an auditorium-style expo where they had the opportunity to talk with professionals in STEM related careers.
It was a great day full of learning! Open Minds, Open Doors is a conference provided by Grant Wood AEA, the Association of University Women (AAUW) and Coe College. #TeachAg. Hope to see you next year!