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  • CareerLine Tech Students Give Poultry A Go

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    December 04, 2017
    CareerLine Tech Students Give Poultry A Go

    Agriculture remains an industry in which the median age of its workforce continues to creep upward. It is imperative that we look for opportunities to educate youth that have an interest in animal science and husbandry what we do in agribusiness, especially as vertically integrated organizations with many jobs that need to be done each day. From walking barns and caring for livestock to harvesting and delivering grain and milled feed, electricians, logistics, finance…you name it, and there is likely a need in West Michigan agriculture for most any skill set. 

    Earlier this month, Allendale Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its Quarterly Luncheon at CareerLine Tech Center in Holland. The group of business owners and management from the Allendale area was pleasantly surprised to hear how career-ready the students were in a very diverse range of skills and jobs. CareerLine has positioned itself in the past several years to be a learning environment that is not only meant to be an alternative to post-secondary education, but instead a compliment to both workforce-readiness and future education opportunities for high school Juniors and Seniors. 

    As a result of the Chamber hosting this event, Sietsema Farms was able to connect with CareerLine staff and shortly after host 3 students from the Agriculture and Animal Science program. These students were participating in a job shadowing rotation where the students were being exposed to many different sectors of agriculture throughout their trimester of study to see what opportunities there are and where their particular interests may develop in the industry. Each student spent 2 hours on one of the Allendale poultry farms, following site manager Steven Punter, and learning what a day in the life of poultry facilitation and care looks like. They were able to ask questions, learn the importance of proper biosecurity in poultry and participate in barn checks. 

    The passion and excitement of the students was evident as they engaged with the livestock. Such an opportunity would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Chamber’s forward thinking and willingness to fill member business needs in such practical ways. The connection that the Chamber made for our business with the CareerLine Tech Center is one that we are confident will be fruitful for years to come as we continue to on-board a motivated and prepared youth in the industry of agribusiness.
    Kristi Roelofs
    (616) 895-7493
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