Wilmington College offers hands-on opportunities for students; the agricultural students were able to take advantage of this as they attended the Farm Science Review this past week. The Farm Science Review is a large farm show where hundreds of agricultural companies come to demonstrate the latest equipment and technology to farmers. The Farm Science Review celebrated their 50th show this year,starting Tuesday, September 18th and ending Thursday, September 20th.
Agricultural students flock to the Review for many reasons—they want to see the latest machinery demonstrations, they want to visit their seed salesmen, or just want to look around at all the new things available for farmers. Since the show is only open throughout the day, students skip class to attend; however, the agricultural professors have caught on to their game and turned skipping into a learning opportunity. In order for the students to attend the show, they have class assignments that reflect class material they must complete.
Tom Stilwell, an Agronomy professor, gave separate and individual assignments to his students. Each of Stilwell’s students was assigned a different agricultural company to research. That research included equipment and products available by that company that pertained to the course. To complete the assignment, Stilwell’s students had to write a half-page report on their findings.
However, the Farm Science Review was not only an assignment opportunity for agricultural classes. The show also creates a great atmosphere for networking, and many agricultural students in Ellen Novar’s Introduction to Marketing class took the opportunity to market themselves to companies at the Review. Novar’s class assignment is for students to market themselves at any networking event. The assignment is to then collect business cards from one or two people the students met, and email or contact that person in some way after the event is over. In order to get full credit, students then must write a one-page paper on the student’s experience.
“What more could you ask for?” Sophomore, Alex Finney states, “You get to spend the day enjoying the Farm Science Review, and you’re still getting class credit.” Not only is it enjoyment, but by requiring the agricultural students to research and network at the Review, they are engaging in real-world experiences. These assignments require students to interact with exhibitors and sharpen their communication skills while they attend the show, instead of just being silent visitors.