Agriculture is a long-standing profession. It has managed to thrive and find various ways to adapt in a world increasingly dominated by technology and automation. We are going through the process of bringing the next generation of innovators into the industry. We train them up in the hopes that one day, they will find new ways to provide us with fresh crops and healthy animals. But agriculture should not just be a personal calling. It will forever need candidates willing to cater to it. Below, we look at why agriculture as a profession is needed now more than ever in the modern world.
Supported by and supporting other sectors
Agriculture is not just about farming and veterinary practices. The industry is very diverse and young people in education can find jobs in other sectors that link back to agriculture. For example, in the fields of science, technology and engineering, potential roles include agronomists, animal nutritionists, veterinarians and entomologists. Pursuing a career in engineering means you will likely be developing some of the equipment and vehicles that will be utilised in a farming environment.
Marketers, retailers, wholesalers and commodity traders are also needed in the agricultural industry. For a tourism career, one could work towards public relations and agri-tourism, which will bring some much-needed attention to the sector and the work being done. These careers widen the number of entry points into the agriculture industry and give people pursuing these careers more roles to choose from.
Our worldwide population currently sits at 7.5 billion. By 2050, it is projected to reach 9.7 billion. Of course, with greater numbers comes the need for more natural resources to feed and clothe society, which is why we need more skilled people identifying strategies and implementing new technologies. Full details on estimated population increases can be found at [https://www.rte.ie/news/2019/0618/1055922-world-population/].
New technologies to combat worldwide issues
Agriculture is becoming increasingly dependent on technology. We have already benefited from innovations like agriculture by aircraft, using the sun to generate freshwater and preserving agricultural data in soil. We also have new medicines improving the health of our farm animals and ripened crops. And these innovations are going to continue to dominate the industry, overtaking many longstanding practices. This can combat several issues that have worldwide impact. However, we need new candidates to take the technology even further to preserve the environment and tackle the food shortage. But we all want a job that has meaning and makes us feel like the effort is worth it. Remember, what you bring to the industry could change the lives of thousands and perfect an already productive process.
Training the next generation and closing the skills gap
The most prominent generation currently leading the charge on the agriculture industry is the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). However, many of these leaders are fast approaching retirement age, with the average farm holder being 60 years old. The problem that we are facing is that those roles are being left vacant and it can be difficult finding people to fill these leadership roles on account of the lack of training or experience. It was discovered by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) that only 35% of farmers have formal management training [https://ahdb.org.uk/news/building-an-agricultural-workforce-fit-for-the-future], an issue that needs rectifying.
The current working generation is Generation Z (born after 1995), many of whom will be recent education leavers. One of the most prominent traits of Generation Z is their close kinship with technology, having grown up in a world dominated by social media and every gadget concocted by the likes of Apple. Many of the traits of Generation Z would be well-suited to the agriculture sector. Agriculture is a diverse environment, with many responsibilities that need undertaking, sometimes requiring separate skillsets. Generation Z is noted for multitasking, an asset they can bring to the working day on a farm. And of course, Generation Z is noted for its entrepreneurial spirit, and if placed in a veterinary practice or on a farm, they could let their imagination run rampant as they try to devise new ways to integrate practices. As with any industry, elements of agriculture may struggle from bouts of instability. Generation Z has grown up in a world marked by a global recession and the War on Terror. This precarious security means that they are less inclined to take unclear risks, seeking stability above all else. If this trait was properly developed, it could be used as sharp business acumen.
Overcoming industry misconceptions
When it comes to marketing a sector or a series of jobs, other sectors seem to have an advantage over agriculture. A survey carried out by Farmers Weekly explored some of the myths associated with the sector, mainly that it was boring (the survey proved that 79% of workers found their job interesting), that it was low-paid (at the time, the average annual UK salary was over £33,000), and that the work was unskilled (73% of respondents held at least A-Level qualifications). The full survey can be found here at [https://www.fwi.co.uk/careers/survey-explodes-myths-careers-agriculture]. This is why a link between agriculture and marketing is pivotal for the future. This is a game-changing industry, and in a world that is constantly experiencing change, agriculture is one of the first areas to feel the benefit of those changes. We don't just need workers. We need ambassadors. We need to show people that agriculture is a thriving industry rife with opportunities for personal and professional development.
Agriculture is becoming increasingly relevant to how we function in society, and many of the elements that we are depending on will be linked back to agriculture in some way. However, if agriculture is going to be the beacon we need it to be, we need a new generation of pioneers willing to join it, promote it and find ways to advance it. Because the work that you do here will resonate for generations to come. Find out more about how you can navigate a career in agriculture at www.agriRS.co.uk.
If you're looking for work in the agricultural sector, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you find the right niche in the UK, Europe and beyond. We can assist in finding which doors are open for you with your specific background and even advice on what you could do to improve your prospects.
Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk
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