One of the challenges every small rural community in America faces is the loss of great talent to cities and areas with more opportunities. The Klamath Basin is no different. Being located in a place that’s as beautiful as our little corner of Southern Oregon and Northern California isn’t enough to keep young people interested in staying if there aren’t any opportunities. A career fair is the perfect opportunity to reach out to our community’s young people to show them the possibilities that are available in their backyard.
As you read in our blog post from last week about spring farming, two of our top hands, Lexi Crawford and Toby Turner, were at the first annual Mazama College and Career day that took place on April 12th. Around 1,100 students from Mazama, Henley, Bonanza, Lost River, Falcon Heights Academy, Great Basin Home School, Klamath Union and Brixner Junior High showed up to Valhalla Court to see the various options available to them after High School. From schools such as Klamath Community College, Oregon Institute of Technology and Northwest College of Cosmetology to businesses such as Diamond Home Improvement, Pacific Crest Credit Union and of course, Gold Dust and Walker Farms, there were plenty of options for everyone to explore and consider.
Our booth was located by the front door, which posed a challenge as students made their way into Mazama’s gym to check out the other booths while bypassing Gold Dust’s. Thanks to Lexi’s quick thinking, she and Toby were able to wrangle students with something every teenager desires – food. Not only was providing chips from Kettle and Lay a great way to get the kids’ attention, it also provided a conversation starter about where our potatoes go. We also shared a booth with the Klamath Water User’s Association (KWUA), and with Chelsea Shearer’s help, our team was able to give the students a better idea of the opportunities available in local ag.
KWUA was also handing out information for an intern program they have available this year. Called Generation h2.o, according to KWUA’s flier, they’re looking for “8 students from around the Basin to participate in a 5 week program complete with tours, presentations and actual work experience.” Not only will Generation h2.o give students a great education on water policy and hands-on experience, it also fulfills senior project requirements. If you’re a student interested in this program or know a Basin student in the class of 2018 that would be interested, please check out KWUA’s site for more information about the requirements and download an application. The deadline to apply is May 26th – so do so quickly!
Lexi and Toby had a good time at Mazama’s College and Career Day. It was a great experience to show local high school students how many opportunities our community has available in Southern Oregon, as well as hopefully see some of these kids working in our offices, shed or fields. For Toby, it also offered a chance to go back to his old stomping grounds as a Mazama Viking as well as meet a current Viking that was born the year he graduated!
Thank again to Mazama High School for putting the event on!