Agri-Stats: Demographics

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.

Stats:

  • 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%).