AgForLife Spotlights Wealth of Career Opportunities
Greensboro, North Carolina, August 10, 2005 - An initiative that will increase awareness of career opportunities in agriculture was introduced by AgCareers.com, an online career resource in agriculture. AgForLife will reach young people through a web site and partnerships with entrepreneurial youth groups.
"AgForLife will bring attention to the diverse career opportunities in agriculture, food and life sciences among middle school, high school and college students. The number of rural youth continues to shrink, so now we can send the message to young people who didn’t grow up on a farm, know little about agriculture or may have the wrong perception of what a job in agriculture entails," explained Eric Spell, president of AgCareers.com.
The new web site, www.agforlife.com, features a virtual career guide that takes visitors on an interactive journey through opportunities in agriculture, food and life sciences. It depicts the full spectrum of opportunities – from the various degrees and majors students can earn at agricultural colleges, to the many ag-related career paths and job possibilities they can pursue.
The visual model for the virtual career guide was developed by Edward Romero, assistant dean at the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Texas A&M University; and Pablo Ramirez, a Texas A&M graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in agribusiness.
"The AgForLife web site shows students the many untraditional, highly rewarding and downright fun careers in agriculture, " Spell explained. "It goes beyond traditional farming operations and highlights positions that require training from agriculture college programs, such as global positioning systems specialists, golf course superintendents and agricultural journalists," he added.
In addition to the web site, AgForLife is forming partnerships with high school business and entrepreneur groups, such as DECA, to reach students who may not be as knowledgeable about agriculture.
AgForLife was launched Aug. 9 during a news conference preceding the Agriculture Human Resources Roundtable held at Syngenta headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. The initiative received a major boost through a grant from Altria and matching funds from Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Texas A&M University provided the resources for the visual model of the virtual career guide.
Spell said AgForLife will benefit agricultural companies that are challenged by the low number of job applicants interested in agricultural careers, and even fewer minority students who seek agricultural-related positions.
"As an industry, I hope we will come together to support AgForLife, show our pride as agriculture professionals and share this enthusiasm with our youth and future workforce," encouraged Spell. The term AgForLife and associated logo designs are trademarks of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, The Texas A&M University System
Eric Spell, President of AgCareers.com, and Steve Troxler, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, answer questions from the media at the launch of the AgForLife campaign.