Greeley West kicks off new monthly Workforce Wednesdays with the topic of Agriculture exploration.


Kathryn Broderius

Ms. Libby Klingsmith leads a panel of agriculture experts during West’s first Workforce Wednesday. The event was well-attended and will have multiple sequels, including business, family-consumer science, and construction.

Kathryn Broderius, Staff Writer

Students of all grades filled the choir room Wednesday afternoon to learn more about possible pathways and careers in the agricultural field.

A group of six local presenters, from areas all throughout agricultural related professions shared about their jobs, education and the steps it took to get where they are today. Presenters included greenhouse and farm owners, as well as managers from Leprino Foods and the City of Greeley Raw Water Division Even a lead professor in agriculture at Aims showed up.

While professions in each area of agriculture have many differences, the one common theme that emerged from the conversations was that, it’s okay if students don’t know they what want to do immediately after high school. Students just need to get out there and start exploring their options. Whether they go on to higher education, volunteer, intern or work at an entry level job, opportunities will begin to present themselves in the agricultural community.

Co-owner of Tigges Farm, Ms. Kathy Rickart, enlightened students to the reality that, “You probably will change your job multiple times in order to find your passion, and that’s okay.”

Mr. Randy Gustafson, who works as the manager for the City of Greeley’s raw water department, elaborated.  “Apply for a lot of stuff, start something and go from there and by a little bit of pure luck you’ll figure it out,” Gustafson said.

All presenters were completely open with the students and weren’t afraid to share their individual stories either. The stories included the good, the bad and the ugly about the paths and decisions made, which allowed the students to know the exact reality of the workforce they may want to enter into.

Students in attendance, such as Ashley Follis, welcomed every piece of advice and information presenters were willing to share with open arms.

“I thought the Workforce Wednesday was great. The one that caught my eye was Flowers For 3. They talked about how they started from the ground up, not knowing anything about greenhouses or agriculture. I want to go to college and study horticulture and hopefully start a greenhouse business,” Follis said.

Event organizer Ms. Libby Klingsmith’s entire goal for this opportunity is to, “Start to expose West students early to their options and give them as many opportunities to succeed in the future as possible.”

Agriculture exploration was the first of many topics to follow, for the new Workforce Wednesdays. Future career topics will include business, family-consumer science and construction to finish out what’s left of 2019.