The career opportunities within agriculture are limitless, but few people understand that the majority of jobs fall outside the traditional role of farmer. Today, an ag-related job can mean a career in information technology, software development, procurement, finance, education, sales, food science, food processing, biology, research and ag economics, among countless others.
Agriculture is evolving and growing with the help of technological advancements, and more ag opportunities exist today than at any point in history. To help fill the array of jobs, current and future college students must be made aware of the countless ag-related vocations.
America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders—sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer—is working to increase awareness of ag-related careers. Entering its fifth year, Grow Ag Leaders has collaborated with National FFA to award $1,500 scholarships to students looking to pursue post-secondary education in an ag-related field of study. Programs like FFA and Grow Ag Leaders open the doors for students by bringing to their attention the variety of science, technology, finance and communications occupations that make up agriculture.
Today, countless professions support farming. The Grow Ag Leaders program partners with farmers to invest in tomorrow’s leaders because they will ultimately shape the industry of agriculture. Recent Grow Ag Leaders scholarship recipient Kendra Flood understands the future of agriculture relies on the interest of future students, and she is using her scholarship to help pay for a career in agricultural education. She ultimately hopes to inspire the next generation of ag leaders.
“I believe there are some misconceptions about the ag industry. When someone tells me ‘ag is just farming,’ I try to show them there’s just so much more to it,” Flood says. “Today’s farmer is part scientist, meteorologist and biologist. These professions also support local farmers, meaning the opportunities in agriculture are endless.”
The modern ag student learns about a host of issues that impact how we feed the world’s population. For example, Flood is enrolled in an agricultural technologies course where she is learning about robotics and drone assembly. This is one way future leaders are helping the industry innovate and evolve.
In 2019, Grow Ag Leaders will award more than $500,000 in scholarships to students across the country. Whether it’s to study agricultural education, economics, technology or food science, FFA and Grow Ag Leaders want to help students pursue their passions, and in doing so, play a hand in shaping the future of agriculture.
“The Grow Ag Leaders program helped change my life, and I would encourage everyone to learn more about it,” Flood added.
The deadline for students to apply is Feb. 6, 2019. To complete the application, students must obtain two farmer endorsements by Feb. 13, 2019. To learn more about the Grow Ag Leaders program rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.