JANS – Recently, dozens of high school students from central Mississippi got a chance to see inside the T.H. Kendall III Agricultural Complex at Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus.
Students toured classrooms, labs, and livestock barns, learning from agriculture and veterinary instructors about the programs available at Hinds. Instructors told them about the types of jobs the education could bring them. Then at their lunch break they were addressed by the state Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Hayes Patrick and were able to network with agencies and companies like Cal Maine Foods, Country Meat Packers, Mississippi Agriculture Commission, the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, and others.
Hinds instructors demonstrated what learning looked like in agricultural industries like poultry and beef production, soil and poultry science, meat merchandising, and veterinary technician assistance. Veterinary Technician Instructor Dr. Dale Cordes told students that they have a very hands-on approach to get students acclimated to handling animals.
“It’s a hard and fast orientation during your first two weeks as a student in vet-tech school. It’s going to be all hands-on,” said Dr. Cordes in one of the veterinary lecture rooms where animal skeletons and anatomical maps lined the wall. “We want our vet techs to be familiar with touching and taking care of animals. Y’all will be doing things like assisting surgeries, taking blood samples, stool samples, learning to anesthetize…”
Down the hill in the bull testing barn, Agribusiness Technology Instructor Wayne Boshart, who served as emcee of the Expo event, and Manager of Farm Operations Kenny Banes told students who were standing in the stalls valuable information about the beef production industry and also explained that Hinds students raise calves for the local 4-H and FFA clubs.
Boshart told the students a story about the hands-on difference he found when he started working with Banes a few years ago.
“When I came to teach at Hinds I just thought I knew the best way to break a calf, but I was wrong. And Hinds students have been lucky enough to have someone as knowledgeable as Kenny Banes for 30 something years now, a guy who showed me that I’d been breaking calves wrong my whole life,” Boshart said.
Banes taught him that the best way to get a calf ready to show and wear a bridle “is getting them used to the human touch first, getting them used to being handled by people.” Then he demonstrated how they confine the calf and use a gentle approach by petting the animal.
“It’s this kind of thinking that makes Hinds a different kind of place,” Boshart said.
Among those attending was Alaina Broome, a retired Army staff sergeant who is enrolled in Hinds’ Agribusiness Management Technology program. She came to learn more about other Hinds programs.
“I am interested in the lab side of things, either poultry science or soil science. I used to work in a lab and I am interested in getting back in to that kind of work,” said Broome, who was injured while on deployment and uses a wheelchair.
The Precision Agriculture is one of six programs in agriculture at Hinds. Others are Agribusiness Management Technology, Beef Production, Meat Merchandising Technology, Poultry Production, and the Veterinary Technology Program.
Visit the Hinds website and the “Agricultural, Construction, Manufacturing, Transportation” Pathway, hindscc.edu/pathways/acmt.