There’s a national shortage of young agricultural professionals.
A 2014 Report by the STEM Food and Ag Council calls for industries and universities to work together to address the gap.
- Twenty-five percent of [agricultural] workers are the age of 55 or older, which means job opportunities will grow through workforce attrition.
- Analysis projects a 4.9% growth in employment opportunities in the next five years, adding 33,100 new jobs in advanced agriculture fields.
The report, released at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue, includes a detailed analysis of enrollment and workforce trends in six agriculture fields:
- Agricultural Business and Management,
- Agriculture Mechanization and Engineering,
- Animal Sciences,
- Plant and Soil Science,
- Food Science and Technology, and
- Other life sciences.
The STEM Food & Ag Council report found that career opportunities in the food and agriculture industries for the next generation will be significant
STEM Annual Report, Food Ag Council (2014) https://www.agri-pulse.com/ext/resources/pdfs/s/t/e/r/t/STEM_Food_Ag_Council_Report.pdf
Reposted from October 23, 2014, Facebook post
In 2012, The USDA Stats came to the same conclusions:
- Only 22% of all farmers in the U.S. are “beginning farmers” (farming for < 10 years)
- Only 6% of farmers are under the age of 35
- 33% of farmers are 65 or older
In 2012, the U.S. Census of Ag Reported an overall decrease in the number of farms:
- The U.S. had 2.1 million farms.
- A decrease in 4.3 % from the 2007 Census.
- There is an overall downward trend in mid-sized farms, while the smallest and largest-size farms held steady.
- Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in U.S. farms declined from 922 million acres to 915 million. (<1%).