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Carroll offers agribusiness seminar for aspiring farm entrepreneurs

Carroll County students interested in agribusiness will have an opportunity to learn more about the topic during an upcoming seminar.

The Carroll County Economic Development department is now accepting registrations for "Cultivating Opportunities in Agribusiness," a conference aimed at aspiring young farm entrepreneurs.

The conference is scheduled for Feb. 18 at Carroll Community College.

The event is open to high school students from around the region as well as college freshman and sophomores who are considering pursuing a career agriculture. The goal of the seminar is to let students hear about the benefits and challenges of a variety of agricultural careers from young professionals who are finding success in their chosen fields.

This is the second year that the conference has been offered, although previously it was only for high school students, according to Joanne Weant, agriculture development specialist with economic development.

Last year, about 50 students attended, she said, but that was as a field trip during a school day.

Weant said conference organizers made a strong effort to find speakers under the age of 30 so students could more easily identify with their stories.

Speakers also have varying academic backgrounds, including no college, some college, or a two- or four-year degree.

"While we strongly believe that post-secondary education is important; we also realize that agriculture is not a subject that can be fully learned from a book," Weant said.

The seminar includes a keynote session in the morning "Business Basics," followed by break-out sessions of the students' choosing. Topics include "The ABCs of Ag Mechanics," "Cultivating Your Own Vineyard," "Running the Family Farm Market," "What Does it Take to Work in Extension," "Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Wildlife Management and Environment Education," "Women in Agriculture," "Blazing Your Own Trail in the Equine Industry," "When Agriculture is Your Addiction," and more.

To register or find a detailed schedule of seminars, go to www.carrollcc.edu/agribusiness.

Weant said the Economic Development department is looking to offer the conference every other year or every few years if there continues to be an interest in the topic.

The seminar, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 18, costs $10 per student. A parent or sibling from the same family may attend for an additional $5 charge. The fee includes all materials and lunch.

For questions or additional information, contact the Carroll County Department of Economic Development at 410-386-2070.

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