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November 09, 2009

Clinton, NC -- Looking for new and innovative ways to increase the pipeline of talent for some of the more difficult jobs to fill within the agribusiness industry is just what  Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) can do. is pleased to have partnered with JAG to sponsor Jana Tihista to attend the JAG National Student Leadership Conference which will be held in Washington D.C. in November. This unique opportunity will allow Tihista, a senior at Nashua School in Nashua, Montana , to attend many career building and life skills workshops, network with other youth, and tour the nation’s capital.
“I am most looking forward to meeting all of the new people on this trip,” said Tihista. “I am also excited about what kind of workshops will be available when we get there.”
Tihista was the winner of an essay contest sponsored by Her essay on ‘What Does Agriculture Mean to You?’ received the highest marks out of more than 80 entries. For winning, Tihista will receive an all expense paid trip to this year’s JAG annual student conference. 
Growing up on a farm and ranch, Tihista’s appreciation for agriculture was apparent. In her essay she wrote, “To me, agriculture means a source of food, a form of recreation, and a way to make a living.” Throughout the essay, Tihista pointed out very basic ways that agriculture is a part of our everyday lives and how easily this can be overlooked by the general public. She shared that while other students were participating in after school sports and clubs, she was helping on the farm/ranch but found it to be a great form of recreation which taught her about team work and goal setting. Tihista concluded her essay with an explanation of how farming is a way to make a living and that the hard work and demanding hours are worthwhile.
JAG is a national non-profit organization that serves young people with barriers to success and therefore may put the student ‘at-risk’ for graduating high school or transitioning from high school into an entry level job that leads to a career. These barriers include things like lower academic grades, a poor family environment, or financial challenges, for example. JAG and their state affiliates have been one of the most successful state-level strategies for tackling high dropout rates, low academic performance, youth unemployment, and other critical issues related to ‘at-risk’ youth. 
Tihista is new to the JAG program. This is the first year she has participated in her state-level JAG program, Jobs for Montana’s Graduates (JMG). “This is my first year in JMG, but already we have learned many things,” said Tihista. “I have learned how to fill out college applications, scholarships, and also we have been researching possible careers.” has worked with JAG for the past two years and has identified youth involved with a JAG program as a great untapped resource for talent into the agribusiness industry, specifically but not limited to, the many skilled labor positions that our clients sometimes find difficult to fill. JAG is not specific to the agriculture industry; however there are a handful of students that do have an agriculture background or tie. The partnership between JAG and as well as other agribusiness supporters has allowed for additional promotion of careers in agriculture and the wealth of opportunities available to them, thus building an excellent pipeline of talent for the agriculture industry.

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