FFA members pose with Staff Sgt. Megan Bates and military working dog Latte.
INDIANAPOLIS – The U.S. Army introduced FFA members to potential career options at the National FFA Expo this week. The Army’s booth hosted several activities for expo-goers to participate in.
FFA members could participate in a fitness challenge, experience a virtual reality training simulator, try their hand at marksmanship and watch a military working dog show off its skills. Military personnel were also present to share career opportunities related to agriculture.
There are two main agriculturally related career paths in the Army: food inspection and veterinary science.
Spc. Aimee Nordin serves as a food inspector. She said no one knows there are food inspectors in the Army.
“We’re behind the scenes a lot,” Nordin said. “Not only do we inspect the food, but the chief warrant officer will go on audits to the farms that manufacture certain foods.”
Nordin said if people are already interested in a career involving food, giving the Army a chance is a good idea. Food inspectors are trained on the job; no college experience is required.
The Army also hires veterinarians and veterinary technicians. They primarily work with the military working dogs as well as the animals owned by retired, reserve and active duty military members when they are in the United States or deployed overseas, Staff Sgt. Megan Bates said.
The Army has a scholarship program that assists veterinary students through their college careers.
“As long as you have the veterinary degree, you can become a veterinary officer in the Army and do veterinary care in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force bases,” Bates said.
Bates is a veterinary technician. She said no college experience is needed for her role, as the Army provides the training needed.
“To be a vet tech, all you have to do is go to your local recruiter, tell them that’s what you want to do and they’ll set you up,” Bates said.
Students can learn more about potential career options in the Army at GoArmy.com.
Dene Dryden is a sophomore at Kansas State University studying creative writing. An alumna of the Palco FFA Chapter in Kansas, she is serving as a reporter for the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Crew.