By Kayce Kobs, Nebraska Pork Producers Mentor
The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) celebrated its 38th anniversary in July 2009. It is a five day educational exposure to the many aspects of agriculture. NAYI not only expands young people’s understanding of agriculture, but it also develops the individual. Leadership development, critical thinking, and decision making skills, along with the opportunity to interact with other youth interested in the future of agriculture, are key elements of NAYI.
The NAYI program is coordinated and directed by the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council (NAYC). The Council consists of 14 college-age men and women who have been appointed to serve and educate Nebraska’s number one resource – youth – on the importance of agriculture.
Two Nebraska Pork Producers Association Mentors , Kayce Kobs and Jessica Clowser, had the opportunity to speak to the NAYI attendees about the pork industry and how the Pork Mentoring Program can benefit their educational experience. Here is Kayce Kob’s thoughts on the day.
This was, in my opinion, the most challenging promotion I’ve done yet. Before going to this promotion I sat down and decided what I needed to say in my presentations. In breaking down the categories for my speech, I decided the big things an incoming mentor might want to know are the scholarship fund, the qualifications, the expectations, and my personal experience. I feel that I had the easier of the two topics Jess and I had to pick from because it was something I could add lib if need be and something I was well familiar with. I knew most of the things Jess mentioned, but I’d be afraid to mess up the statistics. It was a good test of my knowledge and confidence either way.
Although some of the students showed some disrespect to Larry while he spoke and didn’t seem engaged, I was surprised and happy to see most of them seem interested and able to answer questions during Jeopardy, meaning they were into what he was talking about. The Jeopardy game is something I commend Jess for. I think it was a great idea to put an informative, yet light spin on things. I was glad to learn something too. Although I’m sure this regulation was added as a scare tactic and shouldn’t be a problem if the hogs are properly cared for, I was interested to learn that there can’t be traces of paylean in show hogs for them to go to the packers. That just goes to show that the knowledge of the student can sometimes surpass the teacher.
I think we were all pretty well rehearsed by the time the last group came in and I think we seemed more effective as the morning wore on. Although many groups didn’t have time for questions, I was intrigued by a couple of the questions raised by the students. One asked about keeping a foot in the industry once the mentoring program is past and the other specifically asked about the program, proving that they were both interested in the industry in general. I’m glad I had the opportunity to spark the interest of some students who might choose to be a part of the mentoring program and that I got the chance to share my experience with them.