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Sagehorn puts down roots in ag education PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

While Elisa Sagehorn has always been involved with all things agriculture, a new interest in ag education has sprouted in this Colorado State University junior.

A chance to be part of Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association and National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassadors has opened her eyes to exciting new opportunities in the ag education field.

Sagehorn said as a presenter, spokesperson and ambassador for agriculture, she absolutely loves working with individuals across the state of Colorado and beyond.

“It’s given me the key to switch over my career,” said the 2008 HHS grad, noting she is now an ag education major at CSU.

As a National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador, Elisa Sagehorn interacts with an
elementary class during a presentation about cultural differences in agriculture and
feeding the world.

Sagehorn became the Colorado Young Farmers spokesperson at the Young Farmers Institute in Estes Park Feb. 3-5.

The annual meeting is a chance for members to exchange ideas and participate in education programs. The organization itself aims to help students become soundly established in their local communities by providing continuing agricultural instruction.

College students or adults can compete for the Young Farmers spokesperson role. Sagehorn’s five-minute speech about agriculture literacy earned her that honor.

“In a country where the average consumer is three to four generations removed from production agriculture, common sense ag knowledge is now rare,” Sagehorn said in her speech.

When she saw a highly successful businessman at the Colorado State Fair confuse a goat for a dog, she knew there was a problem.

Her speech goes on to say, “The simple fact is less than 21 percent of the United States is involved in the agriculture industry and less than one percent is involved in production agriculture.

“Without the creative thought process of the remaining population, we cannot expect to see agriculture develop the needed 70 percent increase in technology to produce the 100 percent increase in food for the nine billion people expected to be living here in 40 years.”

With Sagehorn’s new role as spokesperson, she is excited to take on this “challenge” of agricultural literacy. She mentioned the road is going to be a long one, but programs like USDA’s Agriculture in the Classroom and National FFA’s Food for America are great starting points.

Sagehorn will go on to participate in the National Young Farmers spokesperson competition in December.

In addition to her role with Young Farmers, Sagehorn is also serving as a National Collegiate Ag Ambassador with the National FFA organization.

This college student joined 20 others around the country when she was selected as an ambassador in July 2010. Training in North Carolina in August prepared her for this new role in ag education.

Sagehorn has committed herself to doing 25 presentations within her 200-mile radius each year. She often sets up her own educational opportunities with groups ranging from elementary students to adults who are interested in learning more about the agriculture industry.

The program aims to increase the public’s understanding of the food and fiber industry and how the agriculture industry affects their daily lives; create awareness of how science is used to meet world-wide challenges in the production of quality food, feed and fiber; and increase awareness of the wide variety of scientific, economical and mechanical resources needed to produce safe, quality food.