Each year, 15 community colleges that have ag programs are invited to a career day at the Agribusiness Association of Iowa Showcase and Conference. They’re there to listen to industry speakers, network, and some get scholarships.
At the showcase, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds spoke to the students about STEM, “We say ag is STEM, so if you’ve got a good foundation in that, you’re set to decide or to be whatever you want to be and the community colleges have been instrumental in helping with that STEM initiative. And now we’re working on Future Ready Iowa, which again is making sure that 70 percent of Iowans in the work force have either education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.”
Reynolds says the agribusiness and agriculture industry is a driver of the Iowan economy, contributing about $112 billion every year.
She is a leader of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory council, which tries to increase STEM interest and achievement.
But at the end of her talk it was clear just promoting Iowa STEM isn’t enough, “The last thing that I want to leave you with is please, please stay in Iowa. We have, and we will work tirelessly each and every day, to make sure that you have a great opportunity right here in the state of Iowa.”