February 9, 2015

3 Min Read
5 reasons why it pays to be an agricultural grad

I had the opportunity to serve as a South Dakota and National Beef Ambassador in 2006. This checkoff-funded program trains youth to be spokespeople and advocates for the beef industry. The roster of past beef ambassadors includes many talented individuals who have gone on to become successful ranchers, lobbyists, executive directors for state beef councils, meat graders, motivational speakers, ag teachers, and leaders in their respective communities and career paths.

Following my tenure as a beef ambassador, I have helped with my state’s ambassador contest. I consider it a real privilege to serve as a mentor for the new ambassadors and offer them guidance as they pursue careers in agriculture.

I got to thinking about this the other day when one of those ambassadors asked me to write a letter of recommendation for an internship application. I was honored to be asked to write the letter, and it was great to catch up with this college student and hear her plans for the future.


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And her future in agriculture definitely looks bright, as it’s an exciting time to be in agriculture. In fact, a few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled, “8 reasons to pursue a career in agriculture.” The blog explored the benefits of pursuing a career in an industry that has 56,000+ new jobs available.

It seems I’m not the only one who thinks being in the agricultural industry is a totally great career decision. I recently ran across an article entitled, “5 reasons to be an ag grad.” Written by Mike Barnett for Texas Agriculture Talks, the article explores the benefits of studying agriculture in college, as well as the opportunities that await after graduation. Here is an excerpt:

1. Fulfillment.

Not everyone can be a farmer or rancher. It takes land. Capital. Know-how. But a bushel of careers support farmers and ranchers. Scientists. Researchers. Engineers. Food safety experts. All are vital links in the food chain. It feels good to make a difference.

READ: Career day a fun eye-opener for BEEF Editor

2. Diversity.

Farming and ranching are much more than plows and cows. It’s developing new seeds. Building better equipment. Discovering efficiencies in crop and livestock production. Bright minds—in many different fields—will drive the future of food. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of it?

3. Challenge.

Feeding the world is a worthy goal. Especially considering the world population is projected to grow from 6.5 billion people today to 9.1 billion by 2050. That means world food production will have to grow 50%, and while using fewer resources than we do today. No one said the future of agriculture will be easy. It will take people with great vision to make it work.

You can read the entire article here, but what do you think? Would you recommend a career in agriculture to a young person? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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