Career fair focuses on agriculture opportunities for students in northeast La.

Hannah Venerella  |  11/17/2017 7:59:37 PM

(11/17/17) WINNSBORO, La. — In northeast Louisiana, where agriculture drives the economy, many high school students are unaware of aspects of agriculture that are unrelated to farming and field crops.

The LSU AgCenter, LSU College of Agriculture and Louisiana Delta Community College partnered to conduct an Agriculture College and Career Fair on Nov. 8 to make students aware of agricultural degree programs and jobs in the field.

“This event opened my eyes to the different departments like Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, which I didn’t realize was a part of agriculture,” said Nayia Calhoun, a sophomore at Ferriday High School.

The recently renovated Louisiana Delta Community College hosted the career fair for more than 230 high school students from 12 parishes. Several LSU College of Agriculture alumni attended the event and informed students of the many career paths in agriculture.

With uncertainty around TOPS, Louisiana’s tuition scholarship program, the number of students enrolling in in-state programs has dropped.

Henry Hebert, coordinator of recruitment and retention in LSU College of Agriculture, said this event was a way to encourage students to come to LSU and an opportunity to strengthen the college’s relationship with Delta Community College.

“To many students in the northeast region of Louisiana, Baton Rouge can seem like New York City,” Hebert said.

Students were able to meet with representatives of college academic departments and learn more about each degree program.

DeAnne Kiper, campus director at Louisiana Delta Community College, said the college’s goal is to get students to a four-year institution.

“Our motto is, ‘start here, go anywhere,’ which I think is perfect for this event because we want to get students to Baton Rouge, and oftentimes they don’t know where to start,” Kiper said.

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Henry Hebert (right), coordinator of recruitment and retention in the LSU College of Agriculture, talks with a student at the Northeast Agriculture College and Career Fair in Winnsboro on Nov. 8. Photo by Tara Smith/LSU AgCenter

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