Harvest is Plenty, Ag Laborers are Few

Cindy Zimmerman

It was over 2,000 years ago that Jesus said “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” and that is apparently very true today in the agribusiness world.

ifama-13-sonny“Here in the United States, just in the next five years based on surveys that we’ve done, we know we’re going to have about 60,000 jobs available in the agribusiness enterprise – and we’re generating only about 28,000 graduates,” said director of USDA’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture Sonny Ramaswamy at the 23rd annual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association World Forum on Tuesday. “Not enough people are wanting to get into the agricultural enterprise although there are fantastic opportunities and we need to be thinking of helping to develop the workforce.”

That’s really the whole goal of IFAMA, to develop the workforce of agribusiness to help feed a growing world population. “Population is the mother of all wicked problems,” said Ramaswamy. “At the core of out ability to feed this population are the farmers.” However, since farmers are being subjected to so many stressors – everything from environmental challenges to political issues – we need talent in a variety of disciplines to support them.

Ramaswamy’s presentation at IFAMA ran about 45 minutes but has a wealth of information so is well worth a listen – lots of great stuff here! IFAMA address by USDA's Sonny Ramaswamy

IFAMA 23rd World Forum Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Food, USDA