Northwest Missouri State University hosted an agriculture visit day today to prepare students for some of the challenges ahead.
It's an opportunity to get a head start on the evolving field of farming.
Kendra Rieckhoff, a junior at Northwest, serves as an agriculture ambassador for the university.
"You come out here. You see students working on the farm. We are all about hands on experience and hands on learning. That's what we really strive to show to students," she said.
Dan Wilson, a NWMSU junior, grew up on a farm, but he too is learning more about all the agriculture industry has to offer through Northwest.
"What the farm does really is give them first-hand experience that they may not know," he said.
Wilson also serves as an agriculture ambassador for the university.
Both Wilson and Rieckhoff help recruit agriculture students. They joined a group for a tour Thursday, sharing the sights, sounds and smells of life on the farm.
"A brisk wind will come up and they'll just about lose in and you just have to laugh," said Wilson.
Aside from pigs, students care for sheep, chickens and cows.
"Dairy is big here at Northwest. It's one of our bigger aspects," added Rieckhoff.
They learn the steps that take each animal from farm to table...
"A calf doesn't just grow up. There's shots that take place. There's management decisions that have to be made between the time that that calf is born and the time it goes to slaughter or to be processed," said Wilson.
Northwest offers seven Ag Science majors, and they hope tours like this attract future students to a career in a way they might not have expected.
The farm also offers hands on lessons in row, silage and hay crops. And, there's also a campus orchard and horticulture complex at Northwest.