Agricultural education was recently slapped in the face by a well-read online news source. Rebuttals against this article quickly filled the e-news rooms and social media networks.
The article reported the top five most USELESS collage majors. Let’s just run down the list – coming in at number five; horticulture, number four; animal science, number three; theater, number two; fashion design and the number one most USELESS college degree; AGRICULTURE.
The article based it’s top five off of the number of students who graduated with each degree in 2008-2009 (I am one of these graduates) and on the projected change in number of jobs between 2008-2018. The growth and course work information for 2008-2018 predictions came from the U.S. Department of Labor according to a footnote at the end of the article.
The author gives example coursework for each major but fails at giving accurate examples of employment areas.
“If your idea of a good day is getting up with the sun and working till it sets as an agricultural manager, a degree in agriculture might be your calling,” suggested the author of “College Majors that are Useless.” The author jokes and uses play-on-words throughout the article, like this is some sort of lighthearted topic.
With agriculture being our nations number one industry how can this article have any merit?
Upon my further investigation, a study by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that agriculture and natural resources has the third lowest unemployment rate. This study shows agriculture having an unemployment rate of 7 percent coming in behind education and health, who both have an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. Agriculture unemployment rates were lower than 12 other listed majors.
I’m not saying it is easy to find a job right now, I’m just trying to defend the very thing I work for and what keeps me fed and clothed. After all, my personal goal for this job is to tell the story of agriculture in a positive light, unlike so many other media outlets.
Funny how the research in the “College Majors that are Useless” article and mine are completely opposite. Take it for whatever it’s worth. To me, it is just shocking that people can be so far removed from the farm that they do not see or understand the importance of agriculture. Think about how many people, who are not educated about the agriculture industry, read that article or related articles. What do they think about the industry that feeds them and the people who make that happen? Or do they even understand how it works or does food come from the grocery store?
With all the targets against agriculture it’s no wonder there is an extreme disconnect.
Best wishes, Lynzee


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