From the Ground Up - Opportunities In Agriculture

Kids have always faced the proverbial question of “what do I want to be when I grow up”, but today it might be more like “what do I want to be when I grow up to make sure I can find a job.”

“Everything is cyclical in agriculture, but at least the projections for this year, 2012, at the ag outlook conference back in February, were for another very good year, as far as income for farmers.”

Catherine Woteki is the Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and says there are great opportunities for young people in agriculture.

“There are wonderful career paths, good employment possibilities, and in data that has just recently been published, students that graduate either with a bachelor’s degree, or a masters or a PHD, have got among the lowest unemployment rates currently in the population.”

With unemployment high, particularly among recent college graduates, agriculture is in a good position to compete for students.

“Come to someplace like Texas A&M. Go to another one of the great land grant universities, and study the food and agricultural sciences because there is a career there for you. Some are want to go into farming, and bless them, and that is a wonderful profession and we need people in farming. We need the smartest people possible in farming.”

Woteki says the opportunity is there to participate in the solution to one of the biggest problems facing the world today.

“How are we going to feed the population of the world by mid-century? There is a good career path there, and it will be one that’ll be contributing to one of the biggest challenges that’s facing us.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at the journey our food and fiber makes from the farm and ranch to our tables, From The Ground Up.

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