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Agriculture Employment Opportunities Report

Employment opportunities for U.S. college graduates with expertise in the food, agricultural, and natural resources system are expected to remain strong during the next five years, according to “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in the U.S. Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources System,” the sixth five-year employment opportunities projections study initiated by CSREES.

The latest study covers the years 2005 through 2010 and is conducted as a result of Congressional action taken in 1977 when Congress designated the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the lead federal agency for higher education in the food and agricultural sciences. The study identified graduates with baccalaureate or higher degrees in agriculture, natural resources, veterinary medicine, or closely allied specializations. This study examines those graduates who qualify for and generally enter scientific and professional occupations.

Beginning in 1980 and continuing every five years, this study has traditionally used the most recent annual Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System surveys data to determine the supply of graduates in agriculture, natural resources, and veterinary sciences. The demand for employment is generated using the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.

This year’s study identifies 52,000 annual job openings for new graduates during 2005-2010, and some 49,300 qualified graduates available each year for these positions. Four major factors will define the market for graduates in the next five years: consumers and their preferences, evolving business structure in the U.S. food system, new development in science and technology, and public policy choices and food system security. Management and business will yield the most opportunities.

A high resoultion copy of the publication and ordering information can be found on the Food and Agriculture Information System Web site.

Contact: Ella Smith