Monday, January 23, 2012

Ag Students, take heart. Your degrees aren’t useless.

From the Nation FFA Blog

"An article recently posted on Yahoo! Education website is causing quite a stir within the Ag community.

The article, entitled “College Majors That Are Useless,” claims that the number one most useless degree is Agriculture. (Animal Science and Horticulture are listed as the number four and number five.)

See the original article here:

The author of this article, Terence Loose, makes it pretty clear that he has a narrow view of the types of jobs available to a person with and Agriculture degree:

“If your idea of a good day is getting up with the sun and working till it sets as an agricultural manager, a degree in agriculture might be your calling…”

“Just don’t expect farms and ranches to be calling you.”

So… Who said that everyone with an Agriculture degree wants to work on a farm or a ranch? We wish that Mr. Loose had spent a little time researching the wide array of careers available to Agriculture students. A quick glance at a website like, would have shown him that there are hundreds of options for those with an Ag background.

Many Agriculture students go on to work in the offices and laboratories for Fortune 500 companies such as Archer Daniels Midland, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Tyson Foods and John Deere.

Furthermore, we shouldn’t be so quick to discourage those who are interested in working as a farm or ranch manager. The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. That means that we’ll need more farmers and ranchers who have the education needed to produce more food even more efficiently than they do now, in order to meet growing demand. Without those “useless” Ag degrees, we may find ourselves in a precarious situation in the near future, where there is not enough food to go around, and the food that is available is too expensive for most families. (Check out the “Plenty to Think About” blog for more thoughts on how farmers will feed a hungry planet in the coming years.)

Today’s agriculture industry is far more diverse and offers more opportunities than most people realize. And, people who choose agriculture careers know that they are doing work that matters. They are feeding and clothing the world, creating jobs and protecting our planet’s natural resources. What’s useless about that?

National FFA

January 20, 2012

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