As someone who has attended the World Dairy Expo (WDE) in Madison, Wisconsin for five years now, I can confirm that this event offers an array of opportunities for young people interested in agriculture!
Learning skills from showing dairy cattle can boost your career prospects and connect you with potential employers, especially when looking for a job.
Job Opportunities in the Dairy Industry
A good place to start looking for potential careers in the dairy industry is by attending the Career Connections Event at the WDE.
This event is a unique opportunity for young people to learn about different facets of the dairy industry straight from the source. Attendees can chat with representatives from a variety of businesses that serve dairy operations and discuss what their companies do and the jobs that are available. From companies working directly with animal nutrition and genetics to the equipment used on the farm, visitors can explore diverse career paths within the dairy industry and get a taste of what might suit them best.
Engaging with industry professionals helped me delve deep into the details of their daily routines. This experience not only broadened my horizons but also helped me determine which careers would interest me the most in the future.
Classes and Internships
One of the topics that businesses discuss at the Career Connections Event is what classes to take while in high school, as well as the majors in college that best relate to their business.
If you're looking to get involved in the dairy industry, you might want to consider taking classes like animal science, agricultural economics and biology in high school. In college, pursuing a degree in dairy science, animal nutrition or agriculture business can provide valuable knowledge and skills for success in the field.
Don't forget to also get hands-on experience through internships and involvement in dairy-related clubs and organizations! Practical hands-on experience and workplace experience cannot be taught in a classroom and are invaluable in the field. The Career Connection Event stressed the importance of internships for personal and workplace growth as they allow you to network with people within the careers you may want to pursue, giving you a head start for when you enter the workforce.
Networking at Livestock Shows
Livestock shows bring people from all over the country together and offer a great opportunity for attendees to network with people in different areas of the industry. They’re also a great way to develop communication skills and learn how to talk to new people. A simple handshake and being able to introduce yourself to someone can go a long way.
For example, attending the World Dairy Expo in the 6th grade, I started out being very shy and barely able to talk to the people I’d been working with all week at WDE. However, today, I’ve grown to be able to communicate with everyone, and now I’m able to share information about the cattle on the show string and answer any questions that people may have.
Advantages for Future Careers
Attending livestock events can give attendees a head start in building their future careers by providing practical skills that can be taken with them throughout their professional journey. Talking with people and making connections from a young age can be very beneficial for future opportunities.
In the end, the lessons learned throughout the livestock industry, such as communication and networking, can give you an added advantage in your career.
I highly recommend you attend the Career Events Expo at the World Dairy Expo next year. It takes young people like us who are passionate about agriculture and the dairy industry to keep the next generation of farmers going!