Agriculture's career opportunities have a perception problem


Those within the agriculture industry often love to tell anyone who will listen that there are many amazing career opportunities in the sector. They are right, of course — there are thousands of jobs going unfilled and plenty of career advancement opportunities for those interested.

But agriculture has too much of a good thing, and there is a major human resources crisis looming unless the sector can attract talent from elsewhere.

There are plans to do just that, explains Jennifer Wright, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC); however, there’s a problem: nearly half of those who responded to a recent survey about considering a job in agriculture failed to identify another job in the sector besides “farmer.”

Wright says that it’s imperative that agriculture work to change that perception. After all, only a small sliver of the industry actually farms. Anyone considering agriculture as an area of study or for a career is overwhelmingly most likely to find themselves in finance, marketing, logistics, research, or processing.

These latest findings regarding the perception of work in ag will find their way into the National Workforce Strategic Plan, Wright says, as the industry works to embrace those from diverse backgrounds to fill a real gap in the existing talent pool.

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