USDA Reports a High Demand in Jobs for Agricultural Graduates

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A Recent Graduate’s  Take on the USDA’s Report about High Demands for Agriculture Professionals 

Gabby Whorley poses with a sheep at NC State’s Small Ruminant Educational Unit.

Hello, my name is Gabby Whorley and I am a current graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State. I am pursuing my Masters of Science in Agriculture and Extension Education. I also earned my Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from NC State as well. I am very interested in increasing the number of graduates pursuing jobs in agriculture and am very happy to share a report by the USDA that explains how there are many employment opportunities for graduates who studied agriculture. 

The report was released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s(USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture(NIFA) in partnership with Purdue University shows a high demand for recent college graduates of agricultural programs.

USDA’s 2020-2025 Agriculture Job Opportunities

Parag Chitnis, acting director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture states that “Future development of our complex global food system requires the brightest minds from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and disciplines working together to solve the challenges before us. This report shows that students across America who are studying food, agriculture and related sciences to take on these challenges have made a sound career choice and will graduate into a strong and growing job market in the years ahead.” 

This is really promising, especially as a recent graduate with an agriculture degree. I hope this report encourages more students to pursue agriculture in college. As well as bringing more students to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State. My experience studying agriculture at NC State has been phenomenal and I can’t recommend this University and College enough. I feel so prepared for the many job opportunities I have awaiting me. 

A few highlights from the report that I found very interesting are:

  • More females than males in the last two decades across all levels of degree attainment have graduated with agricultural degrees.
  • Female students are more prominent in the following majors: animal science, agricultural education, agricultural communication, and veterinary medicine.
  • While male students are more likely to major in agricultural engineering, forestry, agronomy, and crop science.
  • The report placed emphasis on strong demand for graduates with expertise in data science across all agricultural disciplines. 
  • The report also states that we will be seeing strong employment opportunities for specialists in marketing, e-commerce, field technical service, water quality and environment, climate and invasive species, food technology, and environmental and rural policy. 

Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources and the Environment, United States, 2020–2025

USDA, National Institue of Food and Agriculture & Purdue University. (2020, December 9th). Employment Outlook is Promising for New College Graduates in Agriculture [Press Release]. Retrieved from

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