How to make a candy bar

AMES – How many people does it take to produce and market a candy bar? Well, a lot actually.

Iowa FFA youths attended a workshop “Careers Involved in Making a Candy Bar,” during the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference last week in Ames.

The event challenged youths to brainstorm the numerous career fields involved in the candy bar-making process.

Kayla Hasper, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ambassador for Iowa State University, said there are four main career areas involved in making the candy bar – retail, distribution, manufacturing and production.

“The production side is the agricultural side,” said Hasper, “what it takes to grow the products to make the candy bar.”

The youths tasked with identifying retailing careers and jobs from cashier to product stocker to store managers.

Within the distribution segment, FFA members identified jobs such as warehouse workers, semi-drivers, advertising and food inspectors.

Katelyn Warin, an animal science and agricultural communications major at Iowa State University, led a group in deciding which careers make up the manufacturing sector of making a candy bar.

“Through these discussions, we are helping them to know all of the different opportunities there are just within making a candy bar,” said Warin.

Some of those jobs and professions included assemble line workers, managers and lawyers for patent requirements and other legal issues.

They discussed careers with designing packages and finding unique marketing strategies in order to make the product stand out to consumers.

The youths’ career list for the production end included a farmer – both dairy and crop producers; truck drivers; a nutritionist; genetics specialist – to create a top-of-the-line product; coop workers; chemical and fertilizer applicators; agronomists; insurance agents; and equipment sales.

After a breakout session, the students presented career ideas they may be interested in pursuing, which major they needed and if it is available at ISU.

“This workshop is one of our creative ways to help recruit people to the university,” said Hasper. “It gets their feet in the door and we can introduce them to the many careers in the college of agriculture and life sciences here at ISU.”

Jane Hoffmann, an FFA member and student from Denison High School, said she enjoyed the session and learned a lot.

“There’s a lot more jobs and opportunities in agriculture than I expected,” said Hoffmann. “And there are a lot of agricultural jobs that go into making a candy bar and many of those jobs are related to majors available at Iowa State.”