Cattlemen's Classic highlights kids being the future of agriculture

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Cattlemen's Classic is in full swing in Kearney and a big topic on the minds of people in the agriculture business is will the next generation be prepared for the challenges and the many changes.

The Cattlemen's Classic in Kearney is putting a focus on students and how they can play a role in the future of agriculture. (KSNB)

The Classic is doing what they can to get kids involved and educated on the many career paths they could take. The Future Farmers of America traveled far and wide for the show. Some have generations of farmers and ranchers in their family, others are new to the industry. The group gives them skills for careers they may never have considered.

“They go throughout the year focusing on breeding that animal and taking care of it and that really helps to gain knowledge through the industry,” York High School Junior Cooper Koch said

One student changed their career to focus on Ag engineering. The Classic's organizers say there are many challenges facing the Ag sector from weather to social media portrayals .

“We want to help arm this next generation with the tools, the knowledge, to help continue their operations for generations to come,” Cattlemen’s Classic General Manager Ronette Heinrich said.

Careers in technology are taking off and the Ag business is following suit. The businesses at the Classic highlighted the many different kinds of jobs there are from equipment sales, mechanics, to the hands on.

“It's kind of a behind the scenes thing that you never really see. Especially for me not really being a part of agriculture and not many people are that I know of and being able to see that first hand with a lot of these people, meeting new people, it's pretty interesting,” York High School Senior Tom Erwin said.

But each vendor emphasized the rapid change of the industry.

“There's a lot of change going on in different sectors whether it's the economic side, whether it's the technology side, whether it's the age change there and people coming home to take over the farms,” ABS Global Sales Team Leader Bobby Strecker said.

Students said they are taking away the fact that there are many options for them in the Ag business and they are better equipped to meet the challenges.The Cattlemen's Classic will continue through Sunday. This weekend will be the various junior shows and chances for scholarships.