The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that there will be 54,400 job openings in the ag industry annually between 2010 and 2015.
They also estimate only 29,300 Agricultural and Natural Resources graduates per year leaving a shortage of almost 25,000 graduates working in the ag industry with no prior knowledge.
These stats prove the importance of getting students plugged into the ag industry and getting them plugged in early. We’re seeing that come to fruition with many of our corporate partners in the I Believe in the Future of Ag program, where chapters and corporate partners are encouraged to partner at the local level.
The Waverly FFA chapter partnered with Midwest Farmers Cooperative providing snacks for local farmers as they brought their grain to local coop locations. This gave students an opportunity to talk with people in the ag industry and thank their local farmers for support.
The Freeman FFA chapter partnered with Farmers Cooperative during a recent ag tour to learn about using drones in agriculture. Students were able to learn more about the technology in agriculture and careers in the agriculture industry.
I know I’m just touching the surface of what our FFA chapters are doing at the local level with these corporate partners. If you know of a partnership in your area, leave it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them.
In the sixth year of the program, I Believe in the Future of Ag is not only raising funds, but creating unique partnerships between agricultural education programs and industry professionals.
As a part of the campaign, Ag Ed programs are encouraged to reach out and interact with industry partners.