The Odessa Record -

CHS Crop Advisors visit ag shop


--Photo courtesy of HaLee Walter.

Joe Schlomer (writing on white board) and John Jensen (facing class) of CHS-Sun Basin Crop Advisors taught Odessa ag students about plant nutrients: Jordan Clark, Lane Lobe, Jordan Ford, Kaitlyn Zagelow, Katreace Boss and Ben Melgren listen attentively.

Last week, Joe Schlomer and John Jensen of CHS-Sun Basin Crop Advisors visited the Odessa School District ag shop to share a wealth of knowledge about plants, discuss the numerous types of jobs available in the agriculture industry and encourage students to seek out these agricultural carriers.

A quote from George Washington was shared, "Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man."

We often forget that to work in agriculture does not mean that you have to be a farmer, said ag teacher HaLee Walter. Other agriculture careers include seed specialists, soil scientists, agronomists, research specialists and seed geneticists. All of these jobs play a vital role in agriculture. Over the last 100 years, jobs in our country have changed dramatically. In the 1900s, 80 percent of jobs were agriculture-related. Today, two percent of jobs are agriculture-related.

Schlomer and Jensen discussed the different nutrients that help a plant grow. NPKCHO was written on the white board, and the students were asked if they could figure out what it meant. The class jumped right in naming off different elements and easily guessed all but one! Nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are considered the macronutrients that all plants need to be healthy. There are also micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, copper and iron.

As agronomists, their job is to be able to figure out what a plant is lacking and recommend to the grower what nutrients should be applied. This can be done through visual inspection, soil tests, plant tests, etc. It is vital that farmers have the correct mix of nutrients on their crops. Incorrect mixes or missing nutrients can have devastating long-term effects.

"An exciting aspect of all this is that the students will also be able to apply their new knowledge on a smaller scale, too. We are deep into growing our plants for the FFA spring plant sale, and healthy plants are the key to success," Walter said.


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