Agricultural Careers on the Rise

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The field of agriculture continues to grow and innovate along with the times, but the biggest change may be the increased use of technology.

Brian Leake, manager at Monsanto Agriculture store, explains how technology affects the business in several ways.

“Ag is becoming more and more technological and needs a broad range of skills including majors like computer science, biochemistry, engineering, and even communications,” Leake said.

The USDA released a study in 2015 that states there will be about 60,000 ag-related job openings every year for at least the next five years, but only about 35,000 students will be graduating with related degrees.

Haley Hampton, education specialist for national FFA organization, says the decrease of degrees in the field could be because students are unaware of the opportunities.

“It’s actually a little scary that so few students actually know about the different careers in agriculture,” Hampton said.

The growth in human population and decrease in some natural resources has lead to technology becoming an important aspect.

“There’s this whole thing that we need to feed nine billion people by 2050 and how do we do that because we have less land to do it on, less resources like water and soil and so many things,” Hampton said. “We have more people to feed, and so technology has really become the answer to that.”

Ag student at Cameron R-1 High School Claire Stuedle said there is more to Agriculture than just farming.
“Agriculture is such a broad term. There’s the plant research side of agriculture, there’s the business side of agriculture, there’s the education side of agriculture,” Stuedle said.

Also available to ag students are several scholarships through businesses like Monsanto or FFA. Anyone looking to obtain a degree in agriculture can apply for a scholarship by visiting the FFA website at www.ffa.org/scholarships.

Click here for video of the story.

(Brooke Anderson, KQTV)

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