A study by the Missouri Agriculture Foundation and University of Missouri Extension is projecting 13,000 annual job openings in ag over the next decade. MU Extension’s Mark White says Missouri’s agriculture industry is a mix of ag focused jobs like farming and jobs indirectly tied to ag, such as accounting.
“We have some jobs that are unique that we need to create a pipeline and talent for and other jobs that are in demand throughout the economy that you know, we need to compete for those folks,” he says.
White says that pipeline for jobs includes programs like 4-H and FFA that foster interest in the ag sector.
He says demographics moving away from rural areas has caused headaches for ag based employers.
“The real challenge is just finding people because you are not necessarily looking for people with four-year degrees,” he says. “You’re looking for people with a strong work ethic who can be reliable.”
White says businesses like large meat processors have struggled to find employees, pushing them towards automation to fill those jobs. He says the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up that process.
The study can be found at MU Extension’s website.
By Will Robinson of Brownfield Ag News