Agriculture is Nebraska’s top industry and a recent UNL study showed 25% of all jobs in Nebraska are related to agriculture.
“Folks don’t really realize the variety of jobs and the availability of the jobs in science and technology, in education, in communication, food production, all the way through the entire chain, frankly,” says Krysta Harden, the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.
The report from the USDA and Purdue University states there are nearly 60,000 ag related job openings expected annually in the U.S., but only a little over 35,000 graduates available to fill them.
Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, says that means there are some great opportunities for recent college graduates.
“For some majors like agribusiness, animal science, crop science, the young people are being offered two to three job offers and signing bonuses,” Ramaswamy says.
The report projects almost half of the ag job opportunities in the next five years will be in management and business. Another 27% will be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas.
According to the report, more than half the grads in agriculture and ag-related fields are women.
About 93% of Nebraska’s land, some 45-million acres, is used for agriculture and nearly 47,000 farms.