Columbus Grove students with their Agricultural Career Chat speakers. (photo submitted)
Columbus Grove students with their Agricultural Career Chat speakers. (photo submitted)

COLUMBUS GROVE — On Wednesday, January 9 the Columbus Grove guidance department hosted the 2nd quarter Agriculture Career Chat. The students heard from the following speakers: Mark Hoorman, Gary Morman and Jeff Schulte.

Gary Morman is a Columbus Grove High School graduate who is a Family Farm Owner/Operator. He worked for 17 years before retiring from his job in 2012 to become a full time farmer. He informed students that, as a farmer, he relies heavily on the technology to collect information about his farm equipment and crops. This is very important to keep his farm running as efficiently as possible.

Looking back to his high school classes, Morman realizes the importance of mathematics, business, science and government. He is reliant on the laws and state representative that pass laws that will affect how he can carry out certain functions on his farm. Science is important because he needs to understand the soil, seeds and proper amount of chemicals along with many other science related farming topics. As a family farm owner, it is also important to plan financially for the good years by investing money wisely so there is income when the bad years come.

Morman noted that when looking for a career, it is important to find something that you want to do, and not worry about what your friends or others are doing.

Mark Hoorman is a Ottawa-Glandorf High School graduate who enjoyed working on the neighbor’s farm growing up. After high school, he attended Ohio State University and studied Animal Science. He has held several positions since college.

As a District Sales Manager he called people who owed the company money, and sometimes had to go to homes to collect money in person. He was a Buyer which required a lot of travel which could be time consuming and stressful. For 15 years, he worked sales for Agronomy. He learned a lot on the job before his current job working Agronomy Production.

Hoorman is now in charge of 7,000 acres, managing people, equipment and crops. Technology is very important in his current position, and he uses drones to collect data and satellite images of the farms. He works one-on-one with Jim Hoops, state representative, concerning water quality. He feels it is important that we have individuals that are able to do the technical jobs to help support farmers.

Jeff Schulte is a Kalida High School graduate who admitted that school was not his thing. In high school he enjoyed working on the turkey farm, grandmother’s farm, construction jobs, and at the local hardware. He enjoyed hands on activities. His junior and senior years he attended Vantage Career Center originally thinking he would study Carpentry, but eventually chose Machine Tool Technology.

In this field, he was required to study higher level mathematics and physics and his academic classes finally made sense to him because he could see how he was going to use this in his field. After high school he attended Owens Community College and then transferred to Eastern Michigan University to study Manufacturing Technology. After working a while, he earned his MBA at UNOH.

Schulte has held several positions that included PSI, WC Woods and currently works as a Manufacturing Engineer at Unverferth Manufacturing in Delphos. In his current role as the floor engineer, he figures out how to set up a job and make things run more efficiently. When looking to hire people, he noted they are looking for individuals who know technical things such as machining, welding, robotics, auto body, or mechanics.

Thank you to all of the students and speakers who were able to attend the Career Chat for Agriculture. Who knew you needed to know such much about government, business, science and mathematics to run a farm?