Celebrating Diversity in the Classroom on National Ag Day

Celebrating Diversity in the Classroom on National Ag Day

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

On this National Ag Day 2021, Fox Valley Technical College is celebrating by highlighting diversity in its Agriculture programs.

The College has seen a 26% increase in female enrollment in its 38 Ag-related programs over the past three years. In 2018-19, 28% of Ag students were female. In 2020-21, 54% are female.

One of the reasons for this growth has been the addition of the Veterinary Technician program at FVTC, which is a female dominated field. However, growth of female enrollment in the Agribusiness area can also be attributed to female role models in agriculture today.

“Women have been able to enter several of the animal care fields (Dairy Herd Manager, Large Animal Veterinarian) due to advancements in animal handling facilities and animal care practices,” said Lori Nagel, department chair for Agribusiness. “What was once viewed as a physical barrier to many women, are no longer standard practices. Students today are able to see themselves in these roles now more than ever.”

This is the 48th anniversary of National Ag Day. Agriculture continues to be an important sector in Wisconsin, contributing $104.8 billion annually to our state’s economy and 437,700 jobs.

Personally, It’s an important day for Agriculture student Leah Weninger.

“National Ag Day is a way for farmers and other agricultural workers to celebrate and connect with consumers,” Leah said. “Today, many are at least four generations removed from a farm. I think it’s important for consumers to understand how products get from farm to table.

“If a consumer has a question about agriculture, ask a farmer or an agricultural worker. Google is not always right.”