By Family Features Editorial Syndicate
For The Post Publications
ST LOUIS MO – A national survey indicates students preparing to enter the work force often overlook a top hiring sector: agriculture.
The research, sponsored by the Monsanto-funded America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, found agriculture is not being considered by many high school and college students, despite its stature as one of the country’s major industries. Only 3 percent of students recognize the agriculture industry as fertile ground for employment, it stated.
Employers have nearly 60,000 job openings in agriculture annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but reported only an estimated 35,000 students with the proper training and education are available to fill these jobs each year.
Part of the awareness gap may be attributable to a lack of understanding of varied job prospects and technology in agriculture. Fewer than one in five students, or 19 percent, surveyed felt they understood the career opportunities in agriculture, the GrowAgLeaders website noted. Only one in three students (35 percent) described agriculture as a technology-driven industry.
Agriculture offers a wide array of career paths for individuals with interest in technology, science, education, agronomy, and business, program officials said. From agriculture economists and agronomists, to crop consultants, food scientists and engineers, experts in multiple fields are in demand to drive innovations that growers need to feed the world’s population.
To help close this gap the program, with Monsanto as its sponsor, awards scholarships to help develop the next generation of agriculture leaders. Students looking to pursue higher education in an agriculture-related field of study, from a two- or four-year program or trade school, are eligible to apply for a $1,500 scholarship until Feb. 1 (2017).
To find more information or to apply for the program, its Facebook page, here.
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