Agriculture Makes the World Go Round

WIU has a great agriculture program. To learn more about it, I contacted Ember Keithley, an academic advisor in the College of Business & Technology. She explained why WIU’s agriculture program is so great.

“I think the students would say it’s a very hands-on program; there’s a lot of practical application for the material they’re learning in the classroom. They find that it is very rewarding to be a part of a very close-knit group. They get to know the professors and their fellow students that are very active,” said Keithley.

Tomorrow (October 24th), you can see this first hand by stopping by the School of Agriculture’s Open House. The event is located at the University Livestock Center, 2201 Wigwam Hollow Road. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the student fair starts at 10:00 a.m. This event helps prospective students get a feel for what the Ag Department at Western has to offer. “The Agriculture Open House is set up so the prospective and transfer students have the chance to meet the organizations and university offices. It also gives them the chance to visit the residence halls and tour the farm facilities,” said Keithley.

There are three different ag majors at WIU, ag business, ag science, and an ag-teacher certification. WIU offers many ag specific minors that you can take along with your major. This lets you get the focus you want in your ag education. And the fact that WIU is located in a rural community means there are many opportunities in this area for internships in the agriculture field.

WIU recently held an Ag Career Fair on earlier this month. Keithley explained what when on at this fair. “We had greater than 45 different employers that came to campus to hire interns; this was specifically for ag students. (The) ag business club put together a resume book so they had their resumes. Some of them interviewed on the spot,” Keithley said.

Although I am not majoring in agriculture, ag still means a lot to me. I grew up on a farm. Living in the same house as a farmer my entire life, (my dad), made me aware of the importance of agriculture. Agriculture puts the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, and the food on my (and many other’s) plate. I saw first hand the long hours and stress that farmers endure. Farmers are always under a lot of stress because their income depends on the weather; one bad storm and you can be out of thousands of dollars. Farming is laborious, but it is also a science.

Ember Keithley also knows the importance of the ag field. “Agriculture is the foundation for most everything. It is the way that America is fed. There is not a career or major that isn’t touched by agriculture. It’s a very far reaching major.”

Some agriculture events coming up include the 8th Annual Ags for Bags philanthropy event on October 25th, the FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of the month and the WIU Ag Mech Club and Farm Expo in February.

For more information on what is happening in WIU’s School of Agriculture, visit To see the schedule of events for the Agriculture Open House, visit


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