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Friday, January 20, 2012

Since when is any Education Useless?

I'm glad I’m not the only member of FFT who has some opinions about Yahoo! Like Tera mentioned, this week a Yahoo blogger posted “College Majors That are Useless,” with a degree in agriculture topping the list of the five majors listed, closely followed by horticulture and animal science (which in most universities falls under the college of agriculture). By now, if you haven’t seen the article already which was a hot topic across social media yesterday, take a look. Let us know what you think.

Here’s my spin:

Agriculture, Useless? Really?

While the list is based on U.S. Labor Department projections and the author’s opinions—it lacks some serious inaccuracy in my opinion. In the general scheme of things, yes, overall, the number of self-employed farm producers and manager positions will decline in the next few years. But this is because farms and agricultural producers are consolidating, making technological advances that allow them to work more efficiently, requiring fewer workers to be needed to work more land and complete more tasks around the farm. Today the average age of the American farmer is just shy of 60. And more and more farmers are looking to retire. Does retiring farmers mean retiring food, fuel and fiber production for the world? Absolutely NOT! The demand for these products certainly remains steady if not increasing in certain parts of the world, demanding more from U.S. farmers and ranchers. This demand means greater opportunities for college graduates who want to enter the Agricultural field; regardless of whether students aspire to return home to the family farm, become an agronomist, veterinarian, a professor in the college of
agriculture, or what have you. If you ask me, I’d say it seems as if finding a career in agriculture is more promising than just about anything.
Take a look at the article “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates” released by the USDA. Which states, during 2010-15, five percent more college graduates with expertise in agricultural and food systems, renewable energy, and the environment will be needed when compared to 2005-10. In fact, employers have expressed a preference for graduates from colleges of agriculture and life sciences, forestry and natural resources, and veterinary medicine that tend to have relatively stronger interests and more extensive work experiences for careers than those from allied fields of study.

You see, the goal or mission of farming and ranching or any job in the agricultural industry for that matter; is to produce a safe and more abundant food supply for not just their own table, but to provide nourishment for the entire World. No one cares more about being good stewards of the land, caring and protecting for their animals and family more than the American farmer and rancher. It’s because of their passion, dedication and EDUCATION in agriculture that allows them to provide you and your family with an affordable, nutritious meal every day, the fuel for your transportation to work each morning and just about 99% of any other product you come into contact with each day.
Honestly, Agriculture is just as valuable of a subject in school as math and reading. Without it, how are students going to learn:

1. Where their food comes from
2. Being good stewards of the environment and...
3. The life cycle!

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