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Audio: Think agriculture when planning career

<Radio Transcript from Minnesota Farm Network, On the Farm radio show with Tom Rothman

Listen to the audio:

(5/17/2011) —This is Bev Durgan 'On the Farm.' It is graduation time. A common question at graduation parties is: "So, what are you going to do next?" Some young people have solid career plans. Others are still deciding.

I have some advice for young people planning their careers: Think agriculture. Agriculture is a bright spot in our troubled economy. Agricultural companies are doing well and they are hiring.

The 2010 U.S. Agribusiness Job Report found job postings up significantly from the previous year. The number of jobs posted on grew 23 percent last year with the Midwest having the largest increase.

The Career Center on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul Campus reports students with four-year agricultural degrees are finding strong opportunities in the areas of agronomy, animal health, food production and food safety.

The demand is even stronger for students with Master's and Ph.D. degrees in agriculture. The USDA identified an expertise shortage of graduate students in animal and plant production, forest resources, agricultural education, agricultural economics, food science and agricultural biosecurity.

Demographics drive part of the growth in agricultural jobs. The average Minnesota farmer is 57 years old, and many who work in other agricultural careers are close to that age. The expected wave of retirements, the growing demand for food and the increase in agricultural technology is creating opportunities for young people.

Good luck to all of our graduates, and if you get a chance, remind young people of the great career opportunities in agriculture.

This is Bev Durgan on the Minnesota Farm Network.

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