Spartan Proud: Jorhie Beadle, cultivating our future farmers.
Spartan Proud is sponsored by Mason County Central Schools. This series features alumni of Mason County Central telling their stories. Today we feature Jorhie Beadle, MCC Class of 2012.
By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.
One of the struggles of growing up in a rural community such as Mason County is that career choices are often limited, forcing our youth to move out of the area or choose a career path they may not find ideal. Jorhie Beadle, a 2012 graduate of Mason County Central High School, and a graduate of Michigan State University, has found a dream job, in her hometown.
Since 2015 Jorhie has been the agricultural science instructor for the West Shore Educational Service District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.
“I love my job,” Jorhie, 23, says. “I love connecting students with the agriculture and natural resource industry to gain real life experience and also leadership training.” As part of her role as agriscience instructor Jorhie is also the advisor of the West Shore chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA), which was chartered last year. The FFA is the largest youth leadership organization in the country.
Jorhie credits her interest in agriculture and horticulture to her roots of growing up in rural Mason County, Carr Settlement, along the eastern county line, to be specific.
“Being raised in rural western Michigan offered an inspiring vision of diverse careers within the agriculture and natural resources industry,” she says. “It was through this small community that I realized the importance of sustainable food production, and recognized that agriculture and food production has potential to be a common language regardless of background and outlook.”
Johrie began her education at Covenant Christian School in Amber Township. After eighth grade, she transferred to MCC where she completed her high school years. Following graduation, she attended West Shore Community College for one year and then transferred to Michigan State where she pursued a degree in horticulture with a concentration in organic and sustainable agriculture and a minor in environmental studies.
“While at MSU I was a manager of Bailey GREENhouse and Urban Farm- an on campus farm that supplied produce to local restaurants and on campus dining halls. I was also part of a residential program known as RISE, Residential Initiative on the Studies of the Environment. I served as a mentor in the program in addition to a grant writing team that installed native plant landscapes along the Red Cedar River.”
Following graduation she was employed as the outreach coordinator and general farm employee at the MSU North Farm (Research and Incubator Farm) located in the Upper Peninsula.
“MCC had many great opportunities for students to explore future interests,” she says. “The dual enrollment opportunity offered through MCC (with West Shore Community College) really helped prepare me for post-secondary education. Teachers were always very supportive of students that dual enrolled and often made cross curricular connections.”
Becoming an agriscience teacher back in Mason County was not necessarily in Jorhie’s immediate career plans, but the position was too good to pass up.
“I was not anticipating returning to Mason County so soon after graduation, but welcomed the incredible opportunity to join the CTE and explore my western Michigan home through a new lense,” she says. “Being raised in Mason County enabled me to use local connections to begin to build the AgriScience program. The support of the local industry continues to be overwhelmingly helpful as the program continues to grow. I think that ‘native knowledge’, the information that comes instinctively to someone when they have lived in a space, is something that I really value and is so tangible in this area. The intense sense of community is something that I will always value from my western Michigan home.”
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