By Kevin Welter, MCGA Agvocate
Friday, May 16 was the graduation ceremony for the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Fellow Agvocate Nick Peterson and I walked for graduation this spring.
Nick graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Plant Science with soil science minor. He has already started working full-time for AgReliant Genetics. As for me, I will finish my degree this fall and graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural and Food Business Management with an emphasis in finance.
The ceremony was truly a celebration of all the hard work and dedication all of the students have put in over the past few years. The student speaker shared some great moments from college that I know we have all cherished. She also urged us to look forward into our futures.
After 20-plus years of being a student and constantly in classes, we are now young professionals on our way to enter the workforce. After the ceremony, everyone went outside the auditorium for refreshments and to mingle with classmates, relatives, and friends. I heard many graduates getting quizzed on what their future plans entailed. I did not hear a single “I don’t know yet” the entire evening. It seemed like everyone had a job lined up or planned to continue their education this fall.
The night got me thinking about the job opportunities in agriculture. I did a little research and the opportunities in agriculture are truly endless.
According to the USDA, agriculture, food, and renewable natural resources sectors will generate nearly 55,000 job openings each year. This number may not seem that large but estimates from USDA also show that nationwide there are only 29,300 agricultural and natural resources graduates annually.
This large shortfall is filled with graduates of general business, marketing, and sciences. The two areas with the highest demand for agricultural graduates are business/management and sciences/engineering. As a student, I see why many young adults are pursuing degrees in agriculture and natural resource sciences.
This summer, I will start my search for a full-time position after the fall semester. As I start my search, I am very confident I will find the right job for me. The opportunities are endless with a degree in agriculture.
Kevin Welter attends the University of Minnesota and is a student Agvocate with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.