March 2024

Welcome to Rhodes State College's Ag REACH Program, where we're transforming agricultural education in rural communities. Imagine a program that bridges the gap between high schools and local industries, empowering students with practical skills and industry-recognized credentials. That's exactly what Ag REACH is all about!

Over the past two months, Danielle Banks, our USDA Ag REACH Grant Project Director, has been on a mission, visiting six school districts across Ohio. From Miller City-New Cleveland to Indian Lake, 65 students have immersed themselves in the Ohio Agricultural Commodity Tester training module. This hands-on module equips students with the skills they need to thrive on the Ohio Ag Commodity Tester State Licensure Exam. From identifying harmful substances to preforming test weigh calculation, the students are gaining the knowledge of the fundamentals of grain grading.
But Ag REACH is more than just a training program—it's a partnership between educational institutions, local communities and Rhodes State College. By offering free industry-recognized credentials, we're not just preparing students for successful careers; we're strengthening the fabric of our communities. Our commitment to bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world application ensures that students are ready to tackle the challenges of the agricultural industry head-on.

Exciting Opportunities Await!

Are you ready to join us in revolutionizing agricultural education? Partner with Rhodes State College to bring the Ag REACH Program to your students, employees, or community members. Thanks to the USDA grant, participation is absolutely free, with Rhodes State College covering all associated costs. Contact Danielle Banks at to learn more about this incredible opportunity!

Meet Gail Keck: Writing Her Future in Agriculture

Meet Gail Keck, owner/operator of Catalpa Lane Farms and freelance writer. From managing livestock and overseeing grain marketing to writing articles on farmland preservation and ag legislation, Gail embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship in agriculture. Her journey showcases the endless opportunities available in the agricultural sector, regardless of background or gender. Each day, she farms about 300 acres and has a hog barn where she manages 500 to 800 gilts. She checks the barn twice daily to monitor the gilts' health and ensures the automatic feed, water, ventilation, and heating systems are working properly. Along, with her farm work, she writes for Our Ohio and The Farm and Dairy publications.

As Gail shares her experiences, she highlights the importance of hands-on experience and mentorship in pursuing a career in agriculture. Whether you grew up on a farm or are just starting out, Gail's advice rings true: Agriculture offers plenty of opportunities for those willing to seize them. She ultimately chose a career in Agriculture because it simply fit within the lifestyle she wanted to lead and has given her an endless supply of interesting stories to share with the world through her writing.