Agriculture is the largest industry in the United States but many jobseekers feel it is a closed field to them. A new initiative known as "AgForLife" could begin to change that.
A Web-based resource driven by AgCareers.com, AgForLife will provide young people with a wealth of information about any kind of career opportunity in agriculture and/or the food and life science fields. It is aimed primarily at middle school, high school and college students. The site is currently up and running and providing information to visitors.
"The number of rural youth continues to shrink, so now we can send the message to young people who didnâ€™t grow up on a farm, know little about agriculture or may have the wrong perception of what a job in agriculture entails," explained AgCareers.com president Eric Spell during the official unveiling of the new web resource. The news conference was held prior to the Annual Human Resources Roundtable, August 9, at the headquarters for Syngenta Crop Protection in Greensboro, North Carolina.
JoAnn Alumbaugh of AgCareers.com says the companyâ€™s new initiative could spur more young people to make agriculture their career choice. Alumbaugh was moderator of the August 9 news conference promoting the new Web resource.
The AgForLife Web site was designed by graduate student Pablo Ramirez and Edward Romero, assistant dean at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. One of the speakers at the news conference, Romero said the information on the Web site will also be a great resource for teachers wanting to teach their students more about the farming industry.
Using a graphical interface, the entire agricultural industry is represented in schematic form at the new web site. Simple mouse clicks lead viewers down avenues to all kinds of career information. Young people will explore the Web site at their own pace in their quest to decide which job opportunities to pursue after they get out of school.
While AgForLife is designed to help students, it also provides a service to the industry by putting "an end to the brain drain," in agriculture. That brain drain is the phenomenon that occurs when the best young people arenâ€™t available to replace those who retire from agricultural-industry jobs.
AgCareers.com is headquartered in Clinton, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.agforlife.com.