(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Thirty of Missouri’s high school sophomores join an elite group this week as they complete the week-long Missouri Agribusiness Academy. The students participating in the Missouri Agribusiness Academy, a hands-on agriculture careers academy, were selected through a competitive interview process to meet with leaders from agribusinesses specializing in animal health, communications, sales and financial management in Columbia, St. Louis and Jefferson City.
“The Agribusiness Academy is an opportunity for bright young folks in our state to sit down with top leaders in agriculture, government and education to explore the many diverse opportunities ahead of them,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. “Agriculture impacts every sector of our economy and every community in our great state. There is a bright future for young people in agriculture and it is vital that we attract the next generation of agricultural leaders.”
The students gathered in Columbia, Mo. Monday morning to begin the week exploring the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. They traveled to St. Louis Tuesday, and returned to Mid-Missouri Thursday. They end their week Friday in Jefferson City with a graduation ceremony at the Capitol. Missouri’s 2011 Ag Educator of the Year, Dr. Terry Heiman, will give the keynote address during the afternoon ceremony.
During the week, the students met with and worked alongside staff and leadership at Ad Farm, the Danforth Plant Science Center, Monsanto, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Begin New Adventure Center at St. Patrick’s Center. The 2012 MAbA class also toured St. Louis-area farmers’ markets and urban gardens, including City Seed Urban Farm.
Since 1988, the Missouri Agribusiness Academy has awarded more than 700 academy memberships through a competitive application and interview process. The students represent more than 25 4-H clubs and FFA chapters from all regions of Missouri.
To be eligible for the Agribusiness Academy, students must come from a farming family or be an active member of the National FFA Organization or 4-H.
For more information on the Department of Agriculture, please visit mda.mo.gov.