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Students encouraged to apply for 2021-22 Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council

Kaitlyn Riley

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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council.

The department will accept applications through March 31, 2021.

“The Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council has been a valuable opportunity for our DATCP team to engage with young people about Wisconsin agriculture policies and resources,” DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski said. “I strongly encourage students with an enthusiasm for Wisconsin agriculture to apply for this Council to network with others from across the industry and discover more about the many agricultural-related careers available.”

The Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council was created in 2020 to encourage young people to engage with the state government and increase their awareness of DATCP’s interactions with Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. Students serve a one-year term and receive a certificate at the completion of their year.

In 2021-2022, the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council will again be comprised of 15 Wisconsin high school seniors. DATCP will aim to include at least one member from each of the nine council districts. The remaining seats will be filled with at-large members. A map and listing of which counties are located in each of the nine districts is available at AgYouthCouncil.wi.gov.

To apply, students must be high school seniors during the 2021-2022 school year. Students need to complete an application form, sharing their experience and skills, and writing a brief essay. Applicants must also submit a one-minute video and letter of recommendation.

The current Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council members continue to meet virtually each month, engaging with speakers and participating in discussions on a variety of agricultural topics including food processing, animal health, and land and water resources. Each monthly session includes interactive activities, and members rotate through leadership positions within the group.

“The DATCP Agriculture Youth Council has been one of the best commitments I could have made as a high school senior,” shared Natalie Ott of Berlin and current Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council member. “The information is useful and will continue to serve me in my future career path. It’s also allowed me to make connections with people from across the state’s agriculture industry!”

For the application and additional information, visit AgYouthCouncil.wi.gov.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.