The Animals for Life Foundation sponsored winners of the Animal Behavior, Welfare and Husbandry division at Ohio FFA's Career Development Events annual recent awards breakfast.
Career Development Events are an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to showcase knowledge gained through agriculture education curriculum, which is constantly being updated with new technology and scientific methods while meeting industry standards.
More than sixty students participated in the Animal Behavior, Welfare and Husbandry division. Clear Fork Valley High School of Bellville took top team honors while Robin Butz of Coldwater High School was named top individual.
"Through Career Development Events we are training future employees and employers," says James Ogden, CDE coordinator for Ohio FFA. "The sponsors of these events go on to hire students who excel in these areas. Only so many kids can go home and farm. These career development events allow young adults to go into a technical field that still puts them at the heart of animal agriculture."
The events directly align with the Animals For Life Foundation's mission to strengthen the human-animal bond and promote the proper care of animals. There are several CDE categories that include the theme of animal well-being, including animal health and dog grooming.
"It is critical that students learn at an early age how to care for and appreciate animals, both large and small. Participation in these events can lead to a career choice that involves animals and we need bright young people in those fields. Whether it be veterinary science or food production, we need talented students like these to promote the human-animal bond," says David White, executive director of Animals For Life Foundation.
The Animals for Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that celebrates the human-animal bond and the many ways animals bring quality to human life. It was established in 2009 and has granted more than $50,000 to programs that aim to improve the human-animal bond, including supporting a classroom therapy dog, a therapy dog program for children with autism, a first-responders training for animal handling, a local foods event and a career program for students interested in animal professions. For more information on the Foundation, go to www.aflfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/animalsforlifefoundation.