Networking with agriculture through PAS
By LARRY KERSHNER
FORT DODGE – For six sophomores set to graduate today from Iowa Central Community College, the post-secondary agriculture student program has given them a chance to network with ag industries ready to take them on as employees.
The six – Nick Davis, of Humboldt; Tyler Stockwell, of Laurens; Bailey Walrod, of Moreland; Devon Bringleson, of Laurens; Dillon Blythe, of Williamsburg; and Naomi England, of Hubbard – have been instrumental in the past two years in getting ICCC’s PAS chapter more active.
That was credited by ICCC ag instructor Mike Richards. “They’re the ones who really wanted to make the chapter) more active.”
As a result, in 2015, these six members went head-to-head with PAS chapters from across the country in Idaho during the national convention in late March. It’s the first time ICCC has sent competitive teams to the event.
Their results are:
- Sixth general ag knowledge. The team included Davis, Stockwell, Walrod, Blythe and England.
- Twelfth and 13th in crop specialists teams. Respectively, the first team was Stockwell, Bringleson and Blythe; and the second team was comprised of England, Walrod and Davis.
- Sixth overall in ag sales – Blythe.
The team members said they were satisfied with their results going up against nationwide PAS members. Schools included Iowa State University, University of Iowa, Brigham Young University, North Dakota State University, Ridgewater College, in Minnesota; and Boise State University.
Beyond the awards, though, Davis said he appreciated being able to network with ag industries around the country at the event’s career fair; Stockwell said he learned how farming is done other regions that manage different crops in different terrain and climate conditions.
Blythe said what he learned was how other farmers view Iowa.
“Iowa is seen as the capitol of ag,” Blythe said. “They want to know all about Iowa ag and how we do it.
“It makes you realize that you need to be knowledgeable and be able to explain it.”
Walrod, the unit’s 2015 president, complimented instructor Richards for leading the chapter from routine meetings to national competitions in two years; from 10 members two years ago to 18 this term.
ICCC’s PAS chapter hosted the state PAS leadership conference in October 2014; hosted it’s first-ever Friends of Ag Banquet, and competed at the state conference, hosted by Indian Hills Community College, in Ottumwa; and the national conference in Idaho.
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