Next Gen Ag: Fresh eyes and new perspective at the NCDA&CS

by | Jan 3, 2024

Next Gen Ag is a year long series that will run on our In The Field blog, Facebook page, Instagram page and Twitter account. Each Wednesday, we will highlight a young person pursuing a career in the agriculture industry. Individuals can be in high school, college, or recent graduates who are working to establish a career in agriculture. Stay tuned each week to meet some of our industry’s future leaders!

The vein of agriculture runs deep in the family of Demico Guy, our new Engineering Technician in the Soil and Water Conservation Division! As a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Demico learned many aspects of agriculture from the hands of family members, friends, professors, and mentors. Today, he is not only passionate about agriculture and the role that it plays in our state, but also in making a difference in our environment and connecting with people across the world.

As a child, Demico spent many moments in the garden with his grandfather. “My grandfather taught me a lot about farm-to-table, tillage, fertilization and more as we worked in the garden to grow tomatoes, squash, peppers and other vegetables,” he said. “My passion for agriculture was instilled in the garden, and continued to grow through my elementary, middle and high school years.” Demico’s great-grandparents owned and operated a farm that grew corn, greens and other produce as well as raised meat goats. Today, his parents continue to harvest a large garden at their home. “Agriculture is not only essential to all human life, but it’s been an essential part of my family for generations,” Demico said. “Many people try to fit agriculture into a box of being a market, a business or a corporation and it is so much bigger than that. From produce to livestock, the agriculture industry is the essence of life, which is why I wanted to find my place in the industry and continue to push it forward.”

In May of 2023, Demico graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering. Over the summer, he interned with our Soil and Water Conservation Division shadowing engineers and learning the software, the sites, and gaining hands on experience in the industry. Today, he is the Engineering Technician for the division, where he visits sites to conduct land surveys. “The Soil and Water Conservation Division of the NCDA&CS helps farmers, the environment and the economy through products that foster soil and water management, reduce erosion and more,” Demico said. “My job is to visit the sites, or the farms, and conduct surveys that look for elevation points and other important information that our engineers need to build the best equipment for the farm.”

Not only does Demico bring fresh eyes to the industry, but he also has a plethora of hands-on experience in research, soil and water conservation, mapping, and communication due to previous internships held during his college years. “I held three different internships throughout my four years of college and each one taught me valuable lessons that I can bring to the table in my current job,” he said. “I know that I have a lot to learn, and I am more than open to each opportunity, but I also know that I can make a difference in this industry and help propel it forward into the future.” In addition to enjoying all the beautiful scenery, Demico’s favorite part of the job thus far is meeting people across the industry and mapping their farmland. “It can be tedious sometimes but at the end of a project it becomes very rewarding,” he said.

Although Demico isn’t 100% sure where his future in agriculture will take him, he is excited about being a part of the industry for years to come. “I want to learn as much as I can during my position at the NCDA&CS and see where that takes me in the future,” he said. “I am not entirely sure what I want to be doing years from now, but I do know that I want to stay in this industry.”

If you are looking to find your place in the agriculture industry, Demico recommends familiarizing yourself with anything and everything that you can about the industry. “Pick up books and learn from people in the industry about the language, technology, farming processes, mapping, and more,” he said. “Not only will it teach you how things are done, but it will also open your eyes to the depth of agriculture as a whole.” As you are educating yourself, Demico suggests getting involved and gaining hands-on experience in your area of interest. “Take every experience given to you,” he said. “There is always something new to be learned and you never know where your true passion might lie.” We look forward to seeing where the future of agriculture takes Demico, and, for now, we are excited to have him on our NCDA&CS team!