Being raised on a livestock and grain operation, Outstanding Senior award recipient James Fulton always knew he wanted to stay in agriculture. Graduating this spring with his degree in agricultural systems management (ASM) from The Ohio State University, James’s variety of experiences have allowed him to make connections in several different industries.
James grew up in the agriculture industry and was able to earn his American Degree from the National Future Farmers of America Organization (FFA). Wanting to stay in the industry, James decided he wanted to join the ASM program after talking with a friend, who at the time was studying agricultural systems management in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) at Ohio State.
In 2017, James started thinking about ways he could earn funds for college, and that’s when he found the Ohio Air National Guard. “A family friend that was in the guard really pushed me into joining, and I’m glad he did because it was a great decision.”
James gained a lot of knowledge, experience and connections performing maintenance on electrical equipment and Aircraft Arresting Systems. The electrical equipment James assisted on was mainly for bases in foreign countries. The Aircraft Arresting Systems are what ensure the aircrafts ability to stop on the runway during the landing roll or after a high speed rejected take off.
“The arresting systems are like brake failure for aircraft. These are the last attempt to stop an aircraft doesn’t crash. They aren’t used very often but they are there just in case.”
James started the summer of 2020 as an intern with Sunrise Cooperative, working in the fields applying starter fertilizers and pesticides. As COVID-19 started to ramp up, James made the decision to serve through the guard at a local food bank. For three months, James processed and distributed food at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield, Ohio.
James is also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity chapter at Ohio State. “AGR has really helped me develop my networking skills. There are a lot of alumni and guest speakers which means lots of different opportunities.”
For other students, James suggests getting out of your comfort zone. “Get involved and do things your friends aren’t doing. There are so many opportunities to meet different people.”
When it comes to life after college, James is eager to get back home and implement what he has learned to help grow his family’s farm.
By Eryn Oldham