let's talk farm animals

Agriculture is the Future

by Kristen Kelderman, Farm Animal Care Coordinator, Farm & Food Care Ontario

Deciding on your career path fresh out of high school at the ripe young age of 18 is a difficult decision for many young adults. The options are endless and the stakes are high. Four years ago, my heart was set on becoming a physiotherapist; I was fascinated with anatomy and wanted to help people through the recovery process. But on my first visit to the University of Guelph campus I felt an instant connection and came to the realization that my true calling was agriculture. I have never looked back since and have no regrets.
When the recent Yahoo article identified agriculture as the number one useless college degree (http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.htm), uproar broke out among agriculture students and employees across North America.

Terence Loose blames the ag sector for being too efficient, thus decreasing agricultural management jobs. Yes, the numbers speak for themselves. But should we really be discounting our farmers for being innovative and more efficient? Is this not just good business sense? The reality of it is that our population is continuing to grow and is demanding good quality food. The pressure is on as farmers try to produce more food on less land than ever before. The difficulty lies in finding and training employees to work long, hard, back breaking hours through the blistering heat and the freezing cold. My experience has shown me that farmers do not want to be people managers. They want to farm their land and care for their animals. It is a lifestyle that many cannot understand, but those who do realize what a rewarding life it can be. To me, decreasing management jobs does not mean ag is not worth investing in. This is an indication that farmers are adopting technology and moving forward.  

I did not graduate and aspire to become an ‘agricultural manager’. If there is one thing that I learned while at university it is that agriculture is everywhere and there are no limitations on what you can do with your degree. It is the bread and butter of our country.

As a recent graduate, I have been in the trenches job hunting and must say that it is not nearly as terrible as Terence makes it seem. I can happily say that I graduated with contract job. Most recently, I’ve started as the farm animal care coordinator at Farm and Food Care. Not too shabby for less than a year out of school.

The important thing to understand is that agricultural jobs are abundant in Canada. They are not going to disappear anytime soon. It is worth while investing your time and education in agriculture. I don’t have the answer to who is going to feed the world in 50 years, but I can bet that the ag industry will be a front runner for sure.

Yours in true aggie spirit!


Posted by Farm and Food Care on February 16th, 2012 :: Filed under Agriculture Education,careers,Education and public awareness,Future of Farming,Speaking out
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