"You never know when you'll meet someone, who with one conversation, will set up the trajectory of their life because you shared your story."
After a fun-filled Farm Camp focused on the barns at the U of M Crookston Campus, we asked Amberly Cox, our Farm Camp AgHost, to share some thoughts on her experience.
Get to know Amberly and her passion to share the agricultural story with students in Minnesota.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Amberly and I am the Assistant Director of Recruitment at the University of Minnesota Crookston and also a UMN Crookston alumni. I am originally from Minneapolis but grew up riding horses and knew that I wanted to go to a college that allowed for me to continue learning about horses and the industry. I graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business and a minor in Equine Science. I knew I did not want to be a horse trainer or a vet so that is why I decided to focus a little more on the business side, but still include the horses. I now work in admissions at UMN Crookston helping students find and determine if UMN Crookston is the best fit for them. It is a very fun job for me because I had such a great experience here that it is easy for me to talk about all the opportunities I had as a student and teach students how they can also find similar opportunities for themselves here.
The University of Minnesota Crookston campus is part of the 5 campus University of Minnesota System. We are one of the smaller campuses with our average class size of only 16 students (which as an alumni I can tell you that is a true number!). Some of our most popular majors on campus do fall under the Agriculture and Natural Resources department, mostly because of the amazing facilities that we have on campus, and our surrounding environment. But we do not have just Ag majors, we have 36 majors that also include business, management, health science, education, and more! Many of our majors are also offered fully online for students as well.
How do you think students benefit from learning about agriculture in Minnesota?
I think Minnesota has such a rich history of agriculture and a huge variety of Ag industries right in our state which allows for students to get a really diverse view of so many different parts of agriculture. From livestock management to crops to farm consulting to Ag businesses, Minnesota provides all of that for students to experience and learn about.
What Farm Camp experience did you host?
I had the opportunity to host the U of M Crookston Barn Tour. Students from Bemidji High School in Candace Fisher's science and ag classes joined us virtually for the tour. We had current U of M students touring through the livestock barns and giving their perspective on the ag courses they were taking. The high school students asked great questions about the animals, barns and what it's like going to college.
What was your favorite part of being a Farm Camp AgHost?
I love introducing kids to the [Ag] industry. I wish more people were not intimidated to go into an Ag program, even when they are not from an Ag background. I think it is one of those industries that can look intimidating because there are many people that come from family farms or have Ag backgrounds and keep that lifestyle going. In an Ag program, you will learn about agriculture and you can get into a new industry through classes and hands on experience. I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, not on a farm, and loved the classes that taught me about agriculture. It was a big learning curve but I love the industry.
Why do you think hosting a Farm Camp event is important?
I don’t think there is such thing as over educating people on different jobs, industries and lifestyles. You never know when you will meet someone, who with one conversation, will set up the trajectory of their life because you shared your story.
Why should others think about becoming an AgHost?
I think one of the best ways that we can continue to grow and improve any industry is to reach out to young people and spark the interest early so that we can have future leaders ready with new ideas!
Do you want to become an AgHost and invite students to learn more about your agricultural industry or farm? Click here to connect with our Program Director to find a school interested in your Farm Camp tour!
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