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Posts tagged: Rutgers University

Demand Rising for Agricultural College Graduates

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

By Greg Smith, National Program Leader, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

In what is sure to be good news for college students worried about finding a job after graduation in today’s economic climate, employment opportunities for U.S. college graduates with expertise in the food, agricultural, and natural resources and related science sectors are expected to remain strong during the next five years. This news comes from the recently released report, Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in the U.S. Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources System, the seventh 5-year employment opportunities projections study initiated by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

My colleagues and I at NIFA worked with Purdue University to produce this report, which covers the years 2010 through 2015.  We are expecting to see a greater need for professionals in agriculture and food systems, renewable energy and the environment as there will be an estimated 54,000 job openings annually. In fact, compared to 2005-2010, the workforce will demand 5 percent more graduates in 2010-2015. More than enough graduates will likely be available during the next couple of years in some occupations, but we foresee a shortfall of new graduates with preparation in priority business and science specialties in the latter half of the period.

Four major factors will shape the market for graduates in the next five years: macroeconomic conditions and retirements; consumer preferences for nutritious and safe foods; food, energy and environment public policy choices; and global market shifts in population, income, food and energy.

In the report, we identified the strengths graduates will need to compete for jobs in the areas of management and business; science and engineering; agricultural and forestry production; and education, communication and government services. The strongest demand is anticipated for graduates with college degrees and related work experience in business and management.

The projected growth in these occupations will be welcomed as the United States addresses the growing challenges related to food safety and security, climate change, and sustainable energy. We will need the talents, skills and knowledge of these professionals to help us solve these pressing issues and secure our future.

College graduates, such as these Rutgers University soil science students, can expect to see an increase in the number of job opportunities available in the next five years.
College graduates, such as these Rutgers University soil science students, can expect to see an increase in the number of job opportunities available in the next five years.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan Joins Rep. Holt and NJ Farmers on Capitol Hill

Today Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt and dozens of farmers from across central New Jersey as part of the Congressman’s Agriculture and Nutrition Policy Day.  The Deputy Secretary spoke to a diverse group of farmers about USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and the Department’s newest efforts to promote farm to school programs across the country.  After an informative presentation from the OneTray foundation, Congressman Holt kicked off the day’s activities with an enthusiastic welcome, acknowledging the real stars of the show, the men and women in the audience who work the land every day. Read more »

USDA Hosts Jobs and Economic Growth Forum in New Jersey

USDA’s Rural Development and Farm Service Agency hosted a Jobs and Economic Growth Forum on January 5, 2010 at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, NJ.   USDA was asked to lead the effort to listen to community leaders, non-profit organizations, business owners, economists, federal, state and local officials on how to stimulate job creation in New Jersey.  This Forum followed the lead of President Obama’s December 3, 2009 Roundtable discussion.

We were very pleased and fortunate to have Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman John Adler present to address the diverse audience of over 50 attendees.  Both Senator Menendez and Congressman Adler offered specific thoughts on plans for economic growth.  Providing keynote addresses were New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher, nationally renowned Economists Dr. James Hughes and Dr. Joe Seneca from Rutgers University as well as Brian Schilling of the Food Policy Institute of Rutgers University.  The agricultural community and rural interests were also well represented at the Forum.  Everyone shared their thoughts on ways to improve the economy and how their organization may be able to partner with other organizations to further this initiative.

Senator Bob Menendez (far right); Donald Swartz, Director Economic Development South Jersey;  NJ Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher; Dean Robert Goodman, Rutgers University participate in the New Jersey Jobs and Economic Growth Forum Congressman John Adler (seated far right);  NJ Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher; Dr. Joe Seneca,  Economist from Rutgers University;  Brian Schilling, Food Policy Institute of Rutgers University and Howard Henderson (standing), State Director, USDA Rural Development, intently listen during Jobs and  Economic Growth Forum

Major obstacles to economic growth, such as lack of capital for small businesses, tax and regulatory requirements and lack of a skilled workforce, were discussed.  Innovative ideas to lead to job creation were presented.

We want to thank all those that attended for their participation and give a special thanks to Rutgers University for providing the facilities for this great event.

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth”.

By Howard Henderson, NJ State Director, USDA Rural Development