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Opportunities in Agriculture returns to DSU

The sixth annual Opportunities in Agriculture fair is coming to Dickinson State University Wednesday, showcasing DSU senior projects and featuring speakers from the local ag industry.

"Its purpose is multifaceted," said DSU Department of Agricultural and Technical Studies head Chip Poland. "It's part career fair, it's part a place for our seniors to present their senior projects and we have included a keynote speaker that would speak directly to ... students interested in agriculture (about) what are the opportunities and where (they are)."

This year's keynote speaker is Julie Ellingson from the North Dakota Stockmen's Association. Past speakers included former North Dakota Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer.

Among Ellingson's topics will be opportunities available for young people in the ag industry, particularly young women, Poland said.

"Stereotypically, it's (seen as) a man's world, but that couldn't be farther from the truth," Poland said. "There are many opportunities, not just in agriculture but the industries that support ag (for women)."

All seniors graduating with a bachelor's in agriculture science at DSU must complete a senior project, one element of which includes an oral presentation. three seniors are slated to present at this year's event: Tess Blaquiere, Chris Brown and Daniel Garza. Their projects range from a study of herbicide control methods for leafy spurge and analyzing changes that can occur to plants under a grazing system, to focusing on soil quality changes in Conservation Reserve Program land when it is once again made available for agriculture.

High school student Abbigale Steeke will present her high school FFA project on the conception rates of female sheep.

The career fair portion of the event is scheduled to begin at noon on Wednesday, with the keynote speaker scheduled for 1 p.m. and the senior presentations set for 2 p.m. The event will be at the Biesiot Activities Center.