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U.S. agri-food industry faces skill gaps, survey finds

By Jean-Paul MacDonald

The U.S. agriculture and food industry are currently navigating a challenging terrain of skill gaps within its workforce. A comprehensive survey conducted by sheds light on the essential skills employers are seeking and the notable deficiencies present in the job market.  

Critical thinking and the ability to solve problems efficiently top the list of desirable attributes, closely followed by organizational prowess and a penchant for teamwork. 

Interestingly, the survey reveals a stark disparity in the preparedness of new graduates versus experienced hires, with only 18% of new graduates meeting employers' expectations for work-ready skills, compared to 76% of seasoned professionals. This underlines a significant need for enhanced soft skill development, particularly in areas such as communication and decision-making. 

Further investigation into industry-specific requirements uncovered a pressing demand for knowledge in agronomy, precision agriculture, and animal sciences, pinpointing where educational and training efforts should be concentrated., committed to enriching the talent pool within the agri-food sector, offers this survey as a resource to guide both current and future workforce development strategies. The skills report is accessible for free to download, promising to serve as a cornerstone for addressing the skill gaps that hinder the progress of this vital industry.

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