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Advanced Search Rewards High School Student with Trip to JAG National Student Conference in D.C.
October 25, 2010

Contact – Ashley Collins; 800.929.8975;

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and partner to excite talented youth about careers in the agribusiness industry. This relationship has lead to sponsorship of the second annual ‘What Does Agriculture Mean to Me’ essay contest. Cody Rader’s winning essay rewards him with a trip to attend the JAG National Student Leadership Conference which will be held in Washington D.C. in November. This one-of-a-kind opportunity will allow Cody, a senior at Craig County High School in New Castle, Virginia, to attend many career building and life skills workshops, network with other students and tour the nation’s capital. 
“Because of my interest in government and history, I’m excited to do a lot of sight-seeing in D.C. during the conference,” said Rader.
Rader’s essay on ‘Why Agriculture is Important to Me’ received the highest marks out of entries from across the United States. For winning the essay contest, Rader will receive an all expense paid trip to this year’s three-day JAG annual student conference which begins November 18.
Rader’s appreciation for the agriculture industry comes from the major role it plays in supporting his family and his activities. Rural Craig County Virginia, where Rader grew up, is known for their tree farms.  Rader worked in maintenance on a Christmas tree farm for four years. “I had the extreme pleasure of meeting people and sharing with them the joy that comes from cutting your own tree,” wrote Rader in his essay. “So, it’s not just me that enjoys the agriculture that is brought forth from the tree farm, but the families and their children who come from all over to play in the snow and cut a tree,” Rader shared. During the warmer months, Rader and his father partake in their own agriculture project, planting a vegetable garden consisting of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and more.
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. 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. 
Rader is new to the JAG program. He is taking a semester-long class that is part of his state-level JAG program, Jobs for Virginia Graduates (JVG). “I’m learning how to work well with others as part of a team and to make sure respect is kept during the entire team-building process,” said Rader. has worked with JAG for the past three 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 businesses sometimes find difficult to fill. JAG is not specific to the agriculture industry; however there are 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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