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Career Expo highlights agriculture careers for Minnesota students

"Have you ever considered a career in agriculture?" That was a question posed by Pioneer and other agriculture and food companies to 10th graders from south central Minnesota at a career expo recently.

The career expo, which was sponsored by local school districts and Greater Mankato Growth, was not a recruiting event. Instead it was an opportunity to give students more visibility to the career paths that are available to them in their communities.

"Even in a place like Mankato, where agriculture is a major economic driver, a lot of students don't realize the career opportunities available in agriculture," said Paul Gaspar, Research Scientist at the Pioneer Mankato research center. "The career expo gave Pioneer a chance to reach out to those students and let them know about the opportunities available to them right in their backyard."

Pioneer's Northern Business Unit and the Mankato research center used the career expo to engage students with a hands-on activity, which included using test strips to determine if corn plants contained the Bt protein. Gaspar and other Pioneer employees also provided students with an overview of the career paths available within Pioneer.

"Whether they are interested in working in research, production, sales, or marketing, this event helped to plant the seed in their minds there may be a career for them at Pioneer," said Gaspar. "Who knows -- one of the students we met with today could play a major role in helping Pioneer and America's farmers feed the world tomorrow."

April 7, 2011