Opportunities in agriculture
PAS connects Iowa Central students with ag industries
Joel Lambert, of Dayton, said the Professional Agricultural Students program at Iowa Central Community College has led him to discover a new path in farming.
“If it wasn’t for Iowa Central, I wouldn’t have gone toward precision,” Lambert said during the annual PAS banquet Saturday evening at Willow Ridge Golf Course and Restaurant. “The college got me wanting to learn more in agriculture.”
Precision is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops.
The PAS banquet provided an opportunity to thank sponsors and recognize students for their achievements.
Lambert, who serves as PAS chapter president, said he helps his dad on the family farm near Dayton. He said he’s had an interest in agriculture for a long time.
“I grew up on a farm and helped dad,” he said. “It wasn’t long before I jumped up in a tractor.”
His involvement in PAS has allowed him to follow his passion.
“I was involved in FFA in high school and wanted to continue my leadership skills,” Lambert said.
Lambert has competed in the state crops competition and precision competition. For those competitions, Lambert was graded on identification.
Jaedyn Condon, of Fort Dodge, is another PAS member.
Her team earned first place at the national PAS competition in sheep. She also earned first place individually at nationals in sheep.
“We had to take a 100-point test and then we did a case study,” Condon said. “We had to know about the different breeds of lambs and general care.”
To prepare, Condon said her team visited with people who work in the sheep industry.
Condon is grateful for the program.
“PAS gives me an opportunity to expand and grow,” she said. “I’ve met so many new people. The one thing I love the most is the connections we have made and the learning opportunities.”
PAS started at the college in 2010. Currently, there are about 25 active members at Iowa Central.
Mike Richards, associate agriculture instructor for Iowa Central, said the college has had nine straight state officers.
“It’s been a really great experience for our students,” Richards said. “They have a great opportunity to network with industry.”
The Iowa Central PAS had four national winners in the following categories: ag sales, equine, sheep and livestock.
“The kids have been successful,” Richards said.
Lohrville Locker was recognized with an outstanding service award. The business provided the pigs for the meal served at the banquet.
Sponsors for Professional Agricultural Students are as follows: T & L Farm, Landus Cooperative, NEW Cooperative, Lohrville Locker, Sunderman Farm Management, Humboldt Veterinary Clinic, Zyia Active, Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust, Growmark, Paradise Tans, Lambert Seeds, Asgrow, Dekalb, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, Climate Field View, Peoples Bank, Home State Bank, MS & Son’s Corp., Iowa Farm Associates Inc. and 3BG Inc.