From the Ground Up - A Renaissance In Agriculture

Some recent college graduates have found the current job market to be soft, but emerging demand for agricultural products in developing countries like China and India have given job opportunities in agriculture a big boost, and a least one CEO of a major U.S. agricultural cooperative doesn’t see that demand lessening for quite some time.

“We’re on the cusp, I believe, of probably the biggest ag renaissance, oh, probably since the 1940s.”

Carl Casale is the president and CEO of CHS Inc., the largest agricultural cooperative in the United States.

“We talk about doubling of the need for food between now and 2050. Number one is dietary change, primarily China, secondarily India.”

As a middle class evolves, they quit eating grain, and begin to like to eat animal protein, or things that eat grain.

“We don’t need 1.3 billion rich Chinese. We need 1.3 billion Chinese earning ten thousand dollars a year. That’s a lot different bar and they are very rapidly moving into the middle class.”

China has been very active in the grain markets over the last two months.

“They bought all the way into 2013, and just to give you an order of magnitude. One cargo of soybeans is equivalent to about one per cent of the U.S. soy bean crop. They tendered for eighty five.”

And that’s almost half the combined U.S and Brazil soybean crop going into 2013.

“I really don’t see that changing, absent a meltdown in the Chinese economy, which they have so much foreign reserves, they will do everything they can to insure it does not happen.”

Casale told A&M students this demand for food has created many employment opportunities in agriculture.

“The vast majority of my generation left. Those of us that still loved agriculture were able to find jobs within agriculture, not the farm. There’s a lot more kids going home to farm today, and what’s interesting, they’re going home to farm with grandpa, right, because grandpa stayed on the farm. Dad did what I did and left, but that’s a really cool thing. That’s going to recapitalize the intellectual capacity in American agriculture, and it’s going to be great for us for the next fifty years.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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