A Promising Future

Jon Schmitz, Agronomy Sales Manager (507) 434-0016

It’s that time of year when we celebrate the fresh graduating class of the year. The class of 2015 is bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on all the challenges the world has to offer. I can remember those days in my own life in some sense as if it were yesterday. In another sense it’s as if it was a lifetime ago.

Had I followed my original plan I would not be sitting here today writing this article. I would likely be sitting in some high rise building in Chicago, or New York City drafting the next major sky scraper to be built in the most recent up and coming metropolis. I was going to be an architect. My mind escapes me as I’ve aged and I’m not exactly sure how architecture went to agriculture but I have absolutely no regrets in the profession and career path I have taken. It has been a fun and adventurous twenty some years.

I would like to congratulate the graduating class of 2015 and wish them the best in their chosen lines of study. Many have likely already chosen an area of interest that they would like to pursue and like many who graduate from rural communities will be pursuing an education centered around agriculture. But even if you are, or know, students who do not have an agriculture background or are skeptical about the prospects of finding a job in agriculture let me assure you that there is a promising future for employment in the agriculture field.

Not only do we have a need for skilled labor at our local branches of All American Co-op but a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture indicates that during the next five years, U.S. college graduates will find good employment opportunities if they have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment. Between 2015 and 2020, they expect to see 57,900 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in those areas.

But the need goes far beyond that. There is a need and shortage right now in our industry for skilled and specialized labor that does not require a four year degree. Not everyone is cut from the same cloth and there are many new and recent graduates who may not want to attend a four year college. Some may be interested in only a two year technical degree or some may want to start their careers right out of high school. A future in Agriculture is just as bright for them as for the college bound. There are endless opportunities in feed, grain, agronomy, food production, maintenance, and other related areas for those that feel college isn’t the right place for them. All American Co-op and many other Ag businesses have a great blend of people with various backgrounds and education that make our industry thrive and many that have been in this industry for a long time have worked through the ranks to higher positions, even management.

I was in the FFA as a student in high school and for twenty some years I have lived and breathed the creed of the FFA. The first paragraph of the FFA creed says it best.

“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds-achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we know enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.”

If you are uncertain on the career path you want to take; agriculture offers a promising future for those that want to get involved. Feel free to contact myself or someone you may know from All American Co-op to find out more about opportunities with us or other opportunities in Ag related fields.

Again, congratulations to the class of 2015.

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