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Old 08-05-2015, 06:52 AM
 
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I was surprised to read this in the paper today but it looks like there is a growing demand in agriculture.


USDA data shows thousands of jobs coming in agriculture industry | KCRG-TV9 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather

America needs more farmers, but fewer young people are interested these days.
According to new data from the USDA there will be 57,900 annual job openings in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields between 2015 and 2020.
“It’s good news for our students and graduates,” said Mike Gaul, director of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Nationally, there are not enough agricultural students to meet the demand.”
According to the most recent AG Census, principal operators of farms dropped more than four percent from ‘07 to 2012. Add to that, new farmers operating less than five years are down more than 23 percent in the same time frame.
“The average age of farmers in Iowa is 63,” said Linda Bigley, the interim Linn County ISU Extension director.
Bigley said trouble is the current generation of farmers is getting older and older. As they retire, fewer new farmers are taking up the handle creating a void. Bigley believes one of the big reasons is high capital cost.
“There are a lot of young people who would like to get into the profession,” she said. But, because farms have gotten bigger over the years, if you look at the stats, it’s very expensive to get into farming it takes some creative arrangements to get started.”
Bigley said there are a lot of ways to cut that cost through state programs. For instance, Iowa’s Finance Authority offers beginning farmers a slew of options like low interest loans, tax credits and a leasing program that uses Iowa DNR land.
Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids is currently the number two, two-year institution in the nation for agriculture graduates. One of its primary recruiting techniques is AG Day. The school brings students interested in agricultural careers out to the campus to show off the 600 acre working farm.
School officials say they’re seeing renewed interest.
“We’ve seen an uptick in students interested in AG business and production,” said Justin Hoehn, a spokesman for Kirkwood Community College. “Students see the void that’s there and the opportunity and they move forward with agricultural careers because of that.”

Last edited by smpliving; 08-05-2015 at 07:08 AM..
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