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Why Agriculture?

Agriculture is one of the fastest growing and most exciting career fields!

AGRICULTURE DOES NOT END WITH FARMING, THAT IS WHERE IT BEGINS! There are more than 300 different career titles in agriculture.

1 in 5 jobs in the United States is considered agricultural - that’s 20% of the workforce or approximately 20 million people who are employed by the Ag industry.

 

Agriculture boasts very low unemployment rates.  A 2012 study ("Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal") by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found agriculture and natural resources to be among the fields with the lowest unemployment rates - lower than business, engineering, law, the arts, and several others.

Click here to access the Georgetown study.

 

There continues to be a shortage of qualified people to fill the “professional” jobs in agriculture.  Those which require a 4 year degree according to an ongoing study ("Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, 2015-2020") which began in 1980 and renews every 5 years by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The most recent study projects 57,900 annual job openings, but only 35,400 qualified graduates with degrees in agriculture, food, and natural resources to fill them.  Remaining employees (39%) will come from allied disciplines including biological sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, and communication.           

Click here to access the USDA/Purdue study.
 

By 2050 there will be 9.3 Billion people in the world thus farmers will have to grow as much food in the next 40 years as they have produced since farming began in 10,000 B.C. Today, with only 7 Billion people, there are 1 Billion who are hungry each day.

 

Here in Montana, agriculture continues to be the top provider of new money into our state's economy at $5.27 Billion in 2014 which is up from $2.4 Billion in 1997.

Click here to learn more about agriculture in Montana.
 

Flathead County is Montana's 4th largest county, but has only 7.72% of its land in farms, yet agriculture generates more than $45 Million of new money each year to our local economy.  Among 56 Montana counties, Flathead ranks #28 in crop production and #32 in livestock production cash receipts even though we rank #52 in total farm land.