Three Butte College Agriculture students each received $150 for their publication-ready essays on cover crops in Northern California, which they submitted to an essay contest sponsored by Greg Baker Agronomic Consulting. The winning students were Juan Lemus, Ryan Hall and Ingrid “Dani” Dijkhuizen. Baker’s company is based in Gridley, California and works with growers and industry professionals to provide accurate, scientific data about new materials through comprehensive trial design, scientific data collection and expert analysis services.
Juan Lemus’s won for his essay “The Impact of Cover Crops on Northern California Crops.” Ryan Hall’s winning essay was titled “Soil Health and Cover Crops, The Impact of Soil Nutrition in Orchard Cover Crops,” and Ingrid (Dani) Dijkhuizen took home the win for “Using Cover Crops to Conserve Water/The use of Cover Crops to improve Yield.”
“It’s great to see these kids take an interest in the field…They did a phenomenal job on their essays,” said Bruce Hicks, Butte College Chair, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Instructional Program. Hicks said that Baker has been a great supporter of the program, both as a guest lecturer and as a business owner who has provided internship opportunities for students.
“There is tremendous opportunity for our Ag students, particularly as we see the ‘graying’ of the industry. Employment opportunities are numerous,” he said.
According to a 2015 report issued by the United States Department of Food and Agriculture titled Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment United States 2015–2020, during the next five years U.S. college graduates will find good employment opportunities if they have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment. Between 2015 and 2020, it is expected that there will be 57,900 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in those areas.
The projections in the report are based on data from several sources. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 10.8% increase in the U.S. labor force between 2012 and 2022 due to job growth and openings from retirement or other replacements. Employment opportunities in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment occupations are expected to grow more than 5% between 2015 and 2020 for college graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees.
For more information about careers in Agriculture, or any other field of interest, contact the Butte College Career Center at 530-895-2340.