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Input wanted for agricultural workforce survey in Kansas

Input wanted for agricultural workforce survey in Kansas

Survey can be taken online

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

As a way to assist the agricultural industry and agribusinesses determine their workforce needs, the Kansas Department of Agriculture is encouraging the industry to participate in the first Kansas Agriculture Workforce Needs Assessment Survey.

The survey will assess the number of agricultural jobs in Kansas and the specific skills needed to perform them.

State Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey said the survey is in response to concerns brought up by agribusinesses.

“We’ve heard from individual employers in agriculture that need help finding employees as their farms, ranches or agribusinesses grow and expand,” said Secretary McClaskey. “This survey will help us better understand the employment needs of all employers in agriculture, and hopefully, help promote long-term growth in Kansas agriculture.”

According to research by the USDA and Purdue University, there could be 22,500 more new jobs annually than there will be agriculture graduates in the United States. Russell Plaschka, a workforce development specialist with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, said the survey’s results will help to bridge the gap between the classroom and employer.

“We need to identify the specific jobs available and the skills needed,” he said. “Then, we will work with industry and education partners to close specific skill gaps between education and the workplace.”

Paper copies can be requested, at which time a password will be provided to access the online survey.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture:

  • Agriculture is the state’s largest economic contributor, valued at more than $62 billion, which is about 43 percent of the state’s entire economy
  • Agriculture employs nearly 230,000 people, approximately 12 percent of the state’s whole workforce

Those interested in a career in agriculture can visit AgCareers.com to browse for jobs and opportunities in their area.

Join the discussion and tell us your thoughts on Kansas’ creation of an agricultural workforce survey. Should other states do something similar?