REXBURG – Students going into ag-related occupations received positive news from BYU-Idaho professors during a recent tour sponsored by the Fremont County Farm Bureau.
Nels Hanson, chair of the Applied Plant Science Department, said that he has more demand for students in numerous ag majors then he has students. This leads to many students receiving 2-3 job offers before they graduate. Surprisingly, Hanson indicated that most students participating in the programs do not come from Idaho or Utah, but central Washington.
Students visited multiple areas of study such as interior and exterior landscaping, orchards, food science labs, and much more. Many outdoor acres are devoted to hands-on projects from BYU-Idaho students.
"Agronomy versus horticulture is just a matter of scale," one professor taught.
Most agronomic or vegetative projects that are spread across the Rexburg campus are designed and facilitated by campus students. The university and locals also have the option to purchase commodity products or even have a vehicle in for repair for a nominal fee.
With the advancement of technology, mechanical students are needed to work with electrical components, sprinklers systems, and machinery to keep agriculture flowing. This fills a gap for those students who want to work in agriculture, but who do not necessarily desire to be mainstream farmers and ranchers.
All students in these programs are required to participate in internships before graduation. Previously, students would arrange for an internship their senior year, but with such high demand for these students, more companies want to schedule internships during freshman and sophomore years so that they get a good look at the students multiple times before hiring them.
If there is a takeaway thought for these students, it is that there are many ag-related jobs that are going unfilled. This means that there is good compensation in the future for competent, hard-working graduates.