Ferrum College Agriculture Club and Collegiate Young Farmers Attend 2024 Young Farmers Winter Expo

FERRUM, VA, March 4, 2024 – Five members from the Ferrum College Agriculture Club and Collegiate Young Farmers attended the 2024 Winter Young Farmers Expo from February 22-24 in Richmond, VA.
At the Young Farmers Expo, students had the opportunity to network and acquire knowledge from other young farmers, speakers, and workshop instructors. The expo aimed to connect agriculturalists aged 18-35, provide inspiration, enhance the understanding of the industry’s diversity, connect with other Farm Bureau programs, and explore new opportunities within the sector.

The expo was a wonderful experience for all the students who attended. They had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The students had a great time participating in the “Ag in the Classroom Service Project,” where they helped create classroom packs containing agricultural education materials such as books, a “how-to” guide for planting carrot seeds in the classroom, carrot seeds, and Ag in the Classroom pamphlets. Additionally, they attended a “Farming on the Fringe” dinner night, where they enjoyed networking and had fun line-dancing!

“At the expo, I learned about new listening skills and conversational tactics. One of the guest speakers, Vance Crowe, presented on digestion of information from others, and how to take a conversation to the next level with either friends, family, or someone new. I also learned about the grain industry and marketing in a workshop facilitated by Robert Harper, a Ferrum Alumnus,” said Ferrum College senior agricultural science major Stephanie Staats.
Staats and her fellow club members – Ryan Gobble, Megan Thomas, Maggie Hodges, and Faith Feazell – attended a panel discussion with other students. The panel talked about life after college, including topics such as finding jobs, managing finances, and starting a career in agriculture without prior farming experience. “This panel spoke to me as I did not grow up on a family farm, and gave me a sense of confidence in career searches although lacking some of those “on-farm” skills,” Staats shared.
Overall, Staats had a great time at the expo and got clarity about her career goals. “I had the opportunity to listen to young farmers talk about their experiences after college, which helped me prepare for my upcoming graduation in May. Additionally, I gained valuable agricultural business and marketing insights that I can apply to my position in the agriculture club, and to my future career. By combining the knowledge from my curriculum with the strategies I learned at the expo, I feel confident in my readiness for the professional world,” said Staats.

Photo Caption: L-R: Stephanie Staats, Ryan Gobble, Megan Thomas and Faith Feazell at the 2024 Winter Young Farmers Expo.
Nancy Brubaker, Associate Professor of Animal Science and Agricultural Sciences, Program Coordinator of Agricultural Sciences Ferrum College
[email protected]
More About Ferrum College:Ferrum College is a private, United Methodist-affiliated, liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Ferrum, VA. The Ferrum experience is rich with opportunities for internships; hands-on learning; research and study-abroad opportunities as a first-year student and beyond; and excellent financial aid and scholarship packages. Ferrum College is also the first and only higher education institution in Virginia to extend the Ferrum Promise, guaranteeing that students transferring to the College with an appropriate associate’s degree will graduate with a four-year degree within two years of transfer. Last Spring, Ferrum announced The Panther Promise offering free tuition to qualifying Virginia students.