Grads in demand

Populations are continuing to increase around the globe and with more people come more mouths to feed. There are more than 7 billion people in the world right now and, if recent trends hold, the United Nations projects that number to increase to 10 billion by about 2050. It would stand to reason that the world will need more food, which means it will need more farmers, such as Hannah Scott of Brown County, to keep up with demand.

Scott was a guest editor for Ohio Farm Bureau Young Ag Professionals’ Growing Our Generation e-newsletter. She talked about being a graduate student at Ohio State University where her focus of study is in agricultural policymaking, rural issues and the sociology of agriculture. But more than farmers are needed to meet the demands being placed on an increasing, agriculture-related workforce.

Columnist Jeffrey Dorfman wrote recently in Forbes, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that over the next five years the annual demand for college graduates in agriculture and food industries will be 57,900 jobs per year. Unfortunately, American agricultural colleges…will only be producing about 35,400 graduates per year. Further, these jobs are not all in direct production agriculture (that is, farming), which accounts for only 15 percent of these jobs. The other 85 percent are in the broader food and fiber industry. In fact, 50 percent of these jobs are in business and management. For example, food processors such as Campbell’s Soup or Tyson Foods need people to manage their production facilities, marketing campaigns, and finances.”

Growing Our Generation is an Ohio Farm Bureau e-letter where young farmers and agricultural professionals share their stories, insights and tips about farming. Twice a month, one of the members of this community serves as a featured editor of the e-letter. Click here to subscribe.