Why even “city kids” should pursue a career in the agriculture industry

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I’ll be the first to admit – No one in my family farms, and my parents’ paychecks never relied on the combination of 6 inches of topsoil and good weather.

From a military brat, to living on a rural hobby farm, to immersed in agriculture classes at NDSU, to now covering agriculture news for the tri-state area.

Interesting transition right?

There is an increase of students with minimal to no background pursuing agriculture degrees and careers. Students from large urban areas like Minneapolis coming to sometimes smaller towns to pursue careers in agriculture. From food science to precision agriculture the possibilities are endless.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that agriculture related careers are expected to grow 7% from 2016-2026.

What does that mean for fresh graduates (or anyone) looking to work in agriculture?

It means more jobs in a growing industry, which also happens to be the best industry to work in.

The agriculture industry is unique, due to the variance of positions available to prospects. From communications, to production, food safety, management, banking, and academia, there literally is something for everyone.

 

Unlike some industries that may be seeing a decline, agriculture will be around forever (feeding the world is a life-time, permanent job) and with the world population expected to hit 9.9 billion by 2050, there will be an increased need for better efficiency in production ag.

The USDA reports that there are nearly 60,000 jobs expected to become available annually, with only 35,000 graduates expected to fill them.

I’m not sure how many of you recently looked for a job, but I really liked those odds while searching for my career-starting job post-graduation.

Not to mention, the agriculture industry is home to some of the best people in the world, from farmers to bankers, research staff to human resource representatives, you won’t find a better group of individuals to work with.

Coming into a new career is always nerve-wracking, especially if you’re unable relate to the discussions happening around you. I’m convinced that there is no college class that teaches you to understand farmer lingo, you just have to follow along the best you can unless you grew up listening to it.

But the best part? If you genuinely don’t understand something you’re able to ask with (nearly) no jokes about you not knowing. With a background in Animal Science and Communications, I quickly realized that some topics in crop production would take a little more time to understand correctly. Better yet was being able to ask extension staff, farmers, and my boss questions on these concepts without being treated like an imbecile for not knowing at first.

Even with what has been a roller-coaster year in agriculture (Delayed planting, dry conditions, the mess that is trade and exports, delayed harvest and crops in the field, and still no current farm bill to name a few) agriculturalists continue to have a positive outlook. Saying, that it will get worked out when it’s time, and working tirelessly to get the crop they can into the bin.

Getting up every morning is much easier knowing that I’ll get to spend the day talking to farmers about their growing season and harvest, or hear a trade update from a commodity group, or spend time increasing my knowledge on crop production.

Great career outlooks, a myriad of opportunities, and the best people on earth.

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that industry?

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