Farming and agriculture is the largest provider of jobs in the world and is one of the most varied fields out there, but people still think of it as working hard in the field. As a result, fewer younger people are choosing to enter the industry. According to Barclays Bank, only 3% of the 18-30 year-olds they surveyed thought of agriculture as a desirable career despite 76% saying they wanted to remain physically fit while working and 48% saying they wanted to work with animals.
Overall, it seems that young people do not want to work in the farming industry. In this article, we’re going to show you why the opposite should be the case. Agriculture is an exciting industry and the following are some of the reasons why there should be more young people that are considering farming and/or agriculture for a career path.
Farmers Are Aging
In the last decade, British farmers over the age of 65 have increased by 70%. During the same period, the proportion of people under the age of 25 running farms has decreased by 63%, and British farmers are, on average, now over 55.5 years old. 38% of them are either 65 or over. This isn’t just a problem in the UK. Globally, the age of farmers is rising. According to various sources, the average age of a farmer is approximately 60 years old in both developed and developing countries. With farmers aging and nearing retirement, there is room for young people in agriculture and farming, as well as good opportunities for these young job seekers to quickly progress. Also, we need to fill these jobs that have an aging workforce, otherwise we may find that some goods ad services become more scarce and thus more expensive to acquire.
A high salary is one of the motivating factors of any job. Fortunately, those in agriculture and farming can look forward to this since the agricultural sector pays well. According to payscale.com, the average salary for a farm manager is £38,000, while the average salary for an agricultural marketing manager is £42,000. These are averages, so please bear in mind that more qualified and experienced candidates usually earn even higher salaries. For example, we have placed various farm managers in farm manager vacancies that are paying in excess of £80,000 p.a.
The traditional stereotypical image of a farmer is a struggling one. However, agriculture can be an extremely lucrative career choice and should be seen as such, especially by younger people.
Variety of Careers Available
Young people in farming can benefit from the variety of career choices that they have. Agriculture and farming has always been an evolving field, but it’s now more diverse than ever, with careers ranging from those on the farm to those in agribusiness, agricultural economics and agricultural technology. Those who enter the field don’t have to work on farms if they don’t want to – they can work in labs, offices, on the road, as well as in a variety of other locations.
Additionally, not all jobs in agriculture are directly related to farming and may sometimes not even seem related to the traditional idea of agriculture that people hold onto. Therefore, eliminating agriculture from the plan altogether is a hasty decision that young people may be making without even considering all the options within the field.
Great Employment Prospects
Agriculture and farming has great employment prospects. According to UCAS, of the 15,130 students studying agriculture in 2014/15, 69.3% of them went directly into employment. Furthermore, Harper Adams University, a higher education institution dedicated to agriculture studies and rural development, boasts 98.8% graduate employment. With such strong employment prospects, young people should be pursuing careers in the agricultural sector as they’re likely to progress quickly and reach higher positions.
Diverse Farming Degrees
One of the reasons you don’t see too many young people in agriculture is because the industry itself can seem overwhelming and vague at the same time. It also isn't a subject taught in schools, so most young people just aren't aware of the prospects that this industry can offer. If you weren’t sure where to turn, you would probably opt for a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Studies and then wait to see what you wanted to specialise in. However, now, there is such a diverse range of farming degrees to choose from. Young people are not limited in what they study when they opt for an agricultural degree. From agribusiness to rural development and agricultural finance, there are specialisations you can start working towards when you do your undergraduate degree.
A Reliable Option
Another good reason for young people to consider agriculture is that it’s a safe and reliable option. Other fields may come and go, but agriculture isn’t going anywhere. We are always going to need food, especially as the population grows. According to the UN, the global population will grow to 9.7 billion by 2050 and will require 70% more food.
Technology and Innovation
The agricultural industry is becoming an increasingly technological one, especially in the UK. It is one of the fastest-changing industries in today’s world and continues to advance rapidly. Some people may still think of farming as out-dated and labour-intensive, but this could not be further from the truth. From drones and AI (artificial intelligence) to innovations like precision farming, the agricultural industry keeps incorporating increasingly sophisticated technology that is creating numerous more employment opportunities as well as maximising efficiency and yields.
If you’re interested in technological advancements and want to work in an constantly innovating industry, look no further than agriculture and farming.
Rewarding and Fulfilling Work
Furthermore, more young people should be agriculture because of how rewarding and fulfilling the work is. In the UK alone, the agricultural industry’s contribution to the economy was £9435 million in 2020. In addition to adding to the economy, working in agriculture also makes a difference to the world and impacts the overall environment. Working in this industry can give you a lot of job satisfaction because of the real difference you’re making in people’s lives, including working towards providing food and shaping the future of the environment.
Interested in Agricultural and/or Farming Jobs?
If you’re interested in agricultural and/or farming jobs or are looking to fill an open position, the team at Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help. We’re renowned for connecting farming talent with some of the best names in agriculture all over the UK, Europe and worldwide.
Let us help you to find your dream job or find you the perfect employee. Browse through our current vacancies or check out our client services. If you’re interested in working with us, contact us here, and we’ll start looking for the perfect fit for you today.