Career Connections Brings Together Educators and Industry Professional

More than 150 Ohio Career Tech administrators and teachers were introduced to 21st century agriculture during the annual conference for the Association of Career Technical Educators, held at the Easton Hilton in Columbus, July 30-31. The audience learned about the GrowNextGen (GNG) website and its features: curriculum created by Ohio teachers, eLearning courses and networking capabilities to connect educators, soybean industry professionals, and students doing research.

During the event, attendees viewed a career video about food processing featuring Wyandot Foods and interacted with a GNG industry panel. Three panelists presented information about emerging careers and trends in their industries.

• Barry McGraw, Director of Product Development & Commericialization, Ohio Soybean Council
• Kenya Nicholson, Research & Development Manager for Wyandot Foods
• Rusty Orben, Resident Vice-president, Ohio CSX Transportation

Panelists explained to this career tech audience that mentors, work-based learning experiences, and luck were all factors that directed their career paths. McGraw told the audience that “letting students know it’s okay to fail will help them succeed, as it will create an innovative environment.”

During a question and answer period, teachers asked how to connect with industry professionals like those on the panel. GNG provides teachers with access to industry profiles to make this connection easier. Just visit the Network Page to locate industry partners who have indicated a willingness to serve as a classroom resource for in-person visits or presentations via Skype.

Go to www.grownextgen.org to learn more about the materials and resources that are helping to connect teachers and their students to Ohio soybeans and agriculture.

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