The Missouri Department of Agriculture is giving 30 high school students from throughout Missouri the opportunity to explore careers in agriculture through the 2011 Missouri Agribusiness Academy – a competitive membership for sophomores interested in pursuing agriculture-related college degrees and careers.
The Agribusiness Academy is an opportunity for bright young folks in our state to sit down with top leaders in agriculture, government and education to explore the many diverse opportunities ahead of them,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. “Agriculture impacts every sector of our economy and every community in our great state, and it is important to attract the next generation of agricultural leaders. There is a bright future for young people in agriculture.”
This year, the students selected have the opportunity to learn about the many unique opportunities for careers in agriculture. The group will visit Columbia, Jefferson City and Kansas City June 6-10, 2011. They will visit the University of Missouri, Missouri State Capitol and agribusinesses specializing in animal health, communications, sales and financial management.
The students will be recognized for their acceptance into the Academy during the Missouri FFA Association annual convention in Columbia April 14.

The Missouri Agribusiness Academy Class of 2011:
Representing the Central District: Rachel Groves of Barnett, Joseph Limbach of Eugene, Kaylee McEachern of Slater, Mattie Moore of Harrisonville and Kendra Stinson of Prairie Home.
Representing the Northeast District: Tessa Chambers of Fayette, Mason Kiehl of Meadville, Miriam Martin of Bucklin, McKenna Wilmes of Silex and Katie Young of Troy.
Representing the Northwest District: Haley Alden of Hamilton, Aleesha Ball of Fairfax, Leslie Birkenholz of Hopkins, Courtney Brown of Tina and Magie Steinhoff of Trenton.
Representing the Southcentral District: Dylan Bonacker of Cedar Hill, Andrew Muenks of Linn, Emily Reinhold of Sullivan, Nathan Schwartz of Truxton and Kenny Voss of Beaufort.
Representing the Southeast District: Alexandria Berghaus of Farmington, Adam Brown of Jackson, Scott Mainord of East Prairie, Emily Rice of Farmington and Bridget Schumer of Perryville.
Representing the Southwest District: Jonathan Bellis of Aurora, Emily Boyer of Anderson, Caitlin Claflin of Sheldon, Kylie Ehlers of Anderson and Taylor Grisham of Dadeville.
Since 1988, the Missouri Agribusiness Academy has awarded more than 700 academy memberships through a competitive application and interview process.
To be eligible for the Agribusiness Academy, students must come from a farming family or be an active member of the National FFA Organization or 4-H.
For more information on the Department of Agriculture, please visit mda.mo.gov.
Editor’s note: Photos of students selected to participate in the 2011 Missouri Agribusiness Academy are available online via the Missouri Department of Agriculture Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moagriculture/sets/72157626478206072/.