LYNDEN — Each year, the National FFA Organization sends a group of 18- to 24-year-olds to the New Century Farmer Conference.
This year, a Lynden High School graduate talked about her plans to become an agricultural educator and FFA advisor.
Catherine Karb, a Class of 2017 graduate of Lynden High School, explained to her fellow conference attendees how production agriculture will guide their future.
Karb, a junior at Oregon State University, participated in the New Century Farmer Conference in Indianapolis, July 25-29.
She was selected from 150 applicants from around the United States to attend the conference.
“When I first signed up for this, they asked a little about our Ag background,” Karb said. “Mine was being involved (in) agriculture education and wanting to further my education to become an agriculture science educator and FFA advisor. I also have been around agriculture through my time in FFA and now in college.”
Karb explained that during the conference, she and the other participants visited farms such as RDM Shrimp and Dandy Breeze Dairy, and listened to panels on the future of beef, sustainability and niche markets.
“The week was pretty free flowing,” Karb said. “On the first night, we all brought something from our Ag operations (and) backgrounds and shared them as a whole group.”
Karb also said that a “big focus on the conference was figuring out our reason for being in production agriculture.”
“For myself, I said mine was to provide students of all backgrounds an opportunity to learn and work in production agriculture through education and FFA,” she said.
Of the roughly 150 people who signed up to attend the conference, Karb was one of 44 who were selected.
Involved in Lynden High School’s Ag ed program and FFA chapter for four years, she was active in showing animals, participating on career development events (CDE) teams, and working in the agriculture industry.
John Grubbs, Lynden High School’s Ag teacher, said Karb will be a “great future agriculture educator after she completes her college education.”
“She is a great people person, who is a great advocate for the agriculture industry and knows how FFA help students become successful in their future careers and life,” Grubbs said.
At Oregon State, Karb studies agriculture science and agriculture education.
Once she receives her bachelor’s degree, Karb plans to earn her master’s degree in agriculture education.
“It is a one-year program through Oregon State,” she said. “Fall and spring term are in the classroom, and winter term is spent student teaching. It is a fast-tracked program to get you your masters and into the classroom.”