The 2019 National Holstein Convention continued in Appleton Wednesday, and as part of that event, middle school, high school, and college-aged youth were learning about what it’s like to work in the agriculture industry at the “Cows 2 Careers” conference.
“The National Holstein Convention basically brings in the cream of the crop of the dairy industry from around the United States, so our goal with creating this event was to have an opportunity for these kids to figure out how to take their passion for cows into careers,” said event organizer Tera Baker.
At “Cows 2 Careers”, members of the Junior Holstein Association – which centers around the passion for breeding and raising Holstein Cows – listened to dairy industry professionals tell stories from their careers.
“We’ve had quite a few good speakers,” said Mikayla Endres of the Wisconsin Holstein Association, “and learning about the careers and knowing that it’s okay to not know exactly where you’re going, and have an exact answer right now, is acceptable.”
The 90 minute conference began with four panelists who shared insights from their first jobs in the field.
“I think all the students could walk away with understanding that you’re gonna do well at some things, you’re gonna fail at some things,” said Baker. “At the end of the day, it’s really about the connections that you make, and the way that you build upon those connections, to help build your career.”
A second set of panelists then took the stage, discussing how globalization will affect future dairy workers.
“We’re in a really challenging economic situation,” said Baker. “There’s been a lot of jockeying in the industry, and businesses have gone global, and farms have had to really step up their game and being aware of what’s happening on on an international basis.”
The event’s organizers hope that it will help pave the way for the young attendees to turn their dreams into reality.
“We’re hoping it carries on for many decades to come,” Baker said. “And that the students can really learn how to take their cow passion and apply it to a lifetime career.”
Recruiters from universities, colleges, and technical colleges were also on hand to talk to students about education options.