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Agriculture Industry Looks to University for Diverse Skill Set

Plenty of Opportunity for Agriculture Students

Employers are constantly looking to improve their work force. A strong team of dedicated employees with strong skill sets can give an advantage to any business. In the agriculture industry, these recruiters are increasingly going to the University of Guelph to find students with skills that weren’t previously associated with the traditional farm.

The university held its annual Ontario Agricultural College career fair last week to connect prospective employees with companies looking for agriculture candidates. Guelph University offers employers top agricultural students whose experience and education are directly rooted to agriculture. Over the past few years, there has been a change in what recruiters are searching for in candidates. An increase in demand for marketing, finance and communications skills has opened up opportunities for agriculture students.

“There has been a significant disconnect between agriculture and the cities that consume their products – so large agriculture companies are looking for marketing students who may actually know what it means to work on a farm, for example,” says representative Carolyn Lee who participated in the career fair. “Students need to recognize that the skills they’ve developed are a sought out commodity in the agriculture industry.” Today’s jobs are all designed to support farmers through products or services such as marketing for seed, fertilizer, feed and animal products or farm finances and crop protection products. Careers in the agriculture industry offers students the chance to use their farming and agriculture experience from the home farm, as well as to practise and master the skills they’ve learned at school, while offering competitive pay.

Employers aren’t the only ones attending the job fair with a specific goal in mind.  Students are actively pursuing career opportunities through internships, years before they graduate. It gives them the experience they need once they’ve graduated and can put them in favourable positions with well-established organizations in the agriculture industry. The opportunities are plentiful with some sources estimating that for every Agriculture graduate there are three job opportunities waiting for them to choose from.

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