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21 Oct 2012 - AGRICULTURE, THE JOB PRODUCER

During this presidential campaign, the Republican and Democratic candidates, on the road and in the debates, have spent a great deal of time talking about jobs, jobs that have been lost and jobs they will create. Millions of jobs they will create if we will just give them four years in the White House.

I’ve learned over the decades as a voter that presidents do not create jobs. Jobs are created by farmers, ranchers, small businesses and large corporations. Presidents do not create jobs.

I do have a suggestion for the two candidates where they might look for job growth. As a matter of fact, they would have to use a word I haven’t heard either of them use in the campaign, AGRICULTURE! Agriculture in this country is producing jobs. In the past two months, I have spent time on the campuses of four agricultural colleges and just the ‘name change’ in each of the colleges indicates how broad the job opportunities are in agriculture and agri-business.

I visited the University of Missouri, where it is now CAFNR- College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; the University of Illinois, it’s ACES - College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, it is CAFES - College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences; and Iowa State University gets the award for the shortest title, there it is CALS - College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. The name changes are justified because that is how broad agriculture and agri-business have become.

There are more than 300 career opportunities, and the demand for these graduates from the various schools and the colleges of agriculture is extremely high. The Deans of these colleges told me that they have an 80 to 85% job placement rate of their graduates.

So candidates, you might look to agriculture for job growth. Besides producing food, fibre and energy, agriculture continues to produce jobs. And to young people considering careers, it doesn’t make any difference if you have lived or worked on a farm, because there are so many other opportunities away from the farm or ranch. I suggest you take a look at the field, because agriculture IS producing jobs.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.