YUMA, Ariz. – The 10th Annual Southwest Ag Summit started on Wednesday. The four day event is to help encourage young minds to contribute to the future of the agriculture industry.
“The technology that is coming at us now, it’s so fast, it’s so sophisticated, that we need these kids to come and operate it and come and design it,” President of Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association Steven Alameda said.
More than 200 high school students learned about the $3 billion industry that significantly impacts our local economy.
“I went to the field demonstrations. The auto thinning deal they had, I thought was really cool. All the different implements that they have running over there and what they are coming out with is just amazing,” Gila Ridge High School Senior Morgan Taylor said.
Taylor is one of many students who plans on having a career in agriculture.
“I’m going to go to University of Arizona (next semester) and do an Ag tech management degree. I’d like to be in Ag for the rest of my life actually,” said Taylor.
Currently the Yuma Ag industry provides leafy greens to much of the United States.
“The four or five months in the winter we provide over 90 percent of the leafy greens vegetables to the United States and much of that’s exported to around the world,” Alameda said.
To provide that much product, Alameda says he hopes more students will continue to enter this growing industry.
“I learned that there are endless amounts of jobs available in the agriculture field. You don’t have to be born in to it. You just have to have the motivation and be willing to work,” Gila Ridge High School Senior Kyle Leeper said.