Kendall Agricultural Careers Field Trip Series

Progress report for YENC23-190

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $4,222.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation District
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Manager:
Ariel Beauchamp
Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation District
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Project Information


Youth were transported by SUV to a variety of farms and agriculture industries over 6 days to learn about sustainable agriculture practices and agriculture careers involving plant science, animal science, agriculture technology, agriculture mechanics, agriculture business, environmental services, food sciences, and natural resources. Youth had an experiential learning experience by touring 3 farms and 8 agriculture facilities in person and talk with professionals in diverse agriculture careers. This field trip series educated and inspired youth on practicing sustainable agriculture practices and consider careers in agriculture. All students at the end of the field trips series shared agriculture careers they were going to explore more after the program ended. One student shared that their career knowledge has expanded and they were interested in having a career in agriculture.

Project Objectives:
  1. Introduce high school students to a minimum of 18 sustainable agriculture career opportunities through 6, half-day field trips to different farms and agriculture related agencies.
  2. Introduce students to a minimum of 6 sustainable agriculture practices.
  3. Each participating youth will verbally present at the end of the project what career they would be interested in pursuing and why. 
  4. Reflective surveys of each day will be given to obtain data on impact of project. Results will be shared with partners and through social media.

Educational & Outreach Activities

5 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
8 Tours
9 Webinars / talks / presentations
2 Other educational activities: Careers in Ag Lesson, by Illinois Ag in the Classroom, is an activity to match career titles and career definitions in agriculture at the end of day 1. Last day students compiled their photos taken for the week and put them in a video to wrap up and share their experience over the 6 day program.

Participation Summary:

5 Farmers/ranchers
6 Youth
1 Educators
16 Other adults
Education/outreach description:


Six students toured 3 farms and 5 agriculture based facilities in June 2023.  At the beginning of each tour students were given a bag and folder of materials that provided education on agriculture careers and sustainability with the following:

-Illinois Ag in the Classroom Agriculture Careers Ag Mag 

-Illinois Ag in the Classroom Sustainability Ag Mag

-an Illinois Ag in the Classroom Ag-Venture with Careers worksheet

-a list of values exercise worksheet to help students understand and reflect on their top 3-5 values they have and choose a career that holds those top values for a fulfilling career.

-1 survey given each of the 6 days with pre and post day experience to reflect on what they learned and connect on whether those careers would be a good fit for them or not

-17 professionals spoke on their careers in agriculture


A flyer, brochure, and registration form were sent to all high school counselors, ag teachers in the county to share with students at their schools. Registration Form of AFNR Career Field Trip Series 2023 (3) (1) Let’s Explore Agriculture Careers! (3) AFNR Career Field Trip Series Flyer 2023 (2) 

The program series was shared in the Kendall County Soil & Water Conservation District newsletter to 456 individuals on their mailing list along with partners such as the Kendall-Grundy Farm Bureau and Kendall-Grundy Young Leaders at one of their monthly meetings. Fall 2023 Newsletter.pdf


Learning Outcomes

6 Youth reporting change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness
Key changes:
  • Increased understanding what agriculture is and learning that agriculture careers are diverse and much more than just a farmer. Learned that careers can be indoor, outdoor, or a mix of both.

  • Increased understanding of skills needed in various agriculture jobs like combine mechanics, water treatment, data analysis, fertilizer mixing, good communication, making planting schedules etc.

Project Outcomes

6 Number of youth considering a career in sustainable agriculture
8 New working collaborations
Increased organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:
Explanation for change in organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:

Farm Bureau partners increased their support by presenting on their professions and many were able to give tours of their farm or agriculture facility. Increased collaboration with an FFA Ag teacher to increase awareness for students in schools that do not have an ag teacher. We were asked to come back with more groups to the local water treatment plant facility and Seattle Sutton prepared healthy foods processing facility.

Success stories:

All students remarked that their career knowledge had expanded and they would consider a career in agriculture due to the influence of the field trip series. Many loved that it showed careers that were outside. All suggested agricultures they would like to learn more about. We had individuals that only wanted to explore hands on outdoor careers and others that did not like the outdoors at all and enjoyed indoor analytical and data science. This field trip series explored a wide range of indoor, outdoor, and hybrid careers. 

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.