Agriculture department hosts job fair

On Thursday February 4 career services will host the Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology along with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math job fair for agriculture majors and others who are interested in the field in the Lowman Student Center ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The agriculture department has grown to two programs with numerous different majors and minors that students can take into different fields.

“SHSU’s agricultural program has a rich history in the university and state,” professor and head chairmen of the event Art Wolfskill said. “The department at SHSU consists of two major programs of study: Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology. Within each program are a number of specialized majors and minors, offering students the opportunity to tailor degree programs with specific career goals.”

With the amount of programs that the agriculture department offers, Sam Houston State is considered among the largest in the country.

“The department currently has 28 full and part-time faculty, with an enrollment of over 1300 majors, making us one of the largest non-land-grant agriculture and engineering technology programs in the U.S.,” Wolfskill said. “ASET also offers the MS in Agriculture, a fully online Masters of Ag in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Environment (SAFE), and supports the MBA in Agribusiness.”

The agriculture field is only expected to grow, and with that the department is set to receive a larger building that will be more equipped with new technology and will offer greater educational opportunities to students.

“A new academic building, the Pirkle Center, is under construction and will house ASET beginning January 2017,” Wolfskill said.

Wolfskill said ASET also maintains several off campus teaching facilities, one of which is Gibbs Ranch.

“The ranch is a 1740 acre teaching and research facility that includes operational enterprises of commercial cattle, registered Angus and Brangus cattle, and a goat herd,” he said.

STEM fields sustain modern agriculture through the research and technology that has advanced thus far and play a vital role in the growth of the world population.

“Agriculture has always been a scientific endeavor, and some of the first research and technology projects were in agricultural areas,” Wolfskill said. “It takes the full complement of science and technology fields to keep agriculture productive enough to feed a growing world population.”

Wolfskill said that this job fair is for anyone who is interested in a career in a science field, not just agricultural based majors.

“This event is directed toward the students in the college of sciences primarily but is not limited to the agricultural majors” Wolfskill said. “That said, there are companies that are interested in all of the sciences, so students from physics, biology, chemistry, computer science, geography and geology and math and statistics are all welcome.”

The agricultural job market is in a constant state of change, and this job fair offers students an opportunity to see how they can become a part of and improve upon the modern agricultural industry.

“The Ag sciences and engineering technology fields are on the upswing these days,” Wolfskill said. “Everyone will always need food, and that involves way more than just growing it. Processing, marketing and the research and development behind the industry are continuing to advance, and these fields are some of the few that presently anticipate shortages in qualified people for the current and projected openings.”

Many employers from all over the country, including the Texas Department of Agriculture, will attend the event to scout for bright, young talent.

“Many companies, both large and small, will be looking to hire great Bearkats,” Wolfskill said. “Some of the larger entities represented are the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Parks and Wildlife Service, and the USDA. As for private companies, we have Sanderson Farms, Pilgrim’s, McCoy’s Building Supply, CenterPoint Energy, and numerous construction, equipment, and landscape service and equipment companies”

The job fair is free of charge and is a valuable opportunity for students who may consider a future in ASET/STEM field.

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