Is this real world reality or just university hype to attract more enrollments in dwindling Agriculture Faculties? The information below should convince you that it’s real and make you seriously consider Agriculture as a professional career.
How Important is Agriculture to Australia?
It used to be said that Australia rode on the sheep’s back, but this is no longer true. Iron ore, coal, natural gas and education are now the top four export markets today, valued at $140 billion in 2014. But the traditional commodity markets of beef, wheat, lamb and wool still rate 8th, 10th, 17th and 22nd in our export lists. They accounted for almost $20 billion in 2014. Obviously, they are huge vitally important export commodities for Australia.
The value of farm production to Australia in 2013-2014 was rated at over $50 billion by the Australian Government. And people always need to eat!
What is the Government’s attitude to Agriculture?
The Australian Government announced in July 2015 its Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The paper announced funding of $4 billion to invest in our farmers across five key priority areas…
- A fairer go for farm businesses,
- Building the infrastructure of the 21st century,
- Strengthening our approach to drought and risk management,
- Farming smarter,
- Accessing premium markets.
The ABC Rural site has an excellent analysis of the white paper.
What do Educators say about plenty of jobs in Agriculture?
- TERTIARY agriculture students are entering jobs with starting salaries equivalent to lawyers. Professor Neal Menzies, Dean of Agriculture, University of Queensland, June 2015.
- There is a shortfall of young people interested in studying Agriculture.
Dr Brian Jones, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney November 2013.
- There is a sizeable job market in agriculture and more than 4000 jobs per year are consistently being advertised seeking agricultural professionals
Professor Jim Pratley, Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture, Charles Sturt University, February 2012.
What do Agricultural Students think?
A farmer forum in April 2015 asked four young students why they chose to study Agriculture and this is what they said…
- It is the new and the innovative elements of Agriculture which interest me;
- I wanted to work in an industry that is going to constantly challenge me;
- I could combine my love of science, animals and rural lifestyle all in one studying Agriculture;
- There was nothing else which fired up my passion like Agriculture does.
Does Agriculture mean being a farmer?
No. The majority of jobs in the Agriculture sector are with large companies or multinationals running large scale Agricultural based industries. There are many jobs in the fields of Agronomy; Conservation, Parks and Wildlife; Fishing and Aquaculture; Horticulture; Vet Services; Winery & Viticulture; etc. Just look up any employment website and search. You will be amazed at the opportunities listed under Agriculture.
Boom times in Agribusiness
Feeding the world needs expertise, writes Graham Osborne for the Sydney Morning Herald, in February 2014. And about-to-graduate Agricultural Science student Eleanor Percival at the University of Sydney states… “It’s very encouraging to know that there is such a range of opportunities out there and that the industry is actively searching for new graduates”. Graham also states that there is a critical skills shortage in Australia’s booming $200 billion agribusiness sector. “This means that many students are receiving offers of employment before graduation”.
In July 2013, Mr Khan Horne, National Australia Bank’s General Manager of Agribusiness claims “we’re on the cusp of an Agriculture career boom”. He attributed this to the strong growth in corporate Agriculture, increasing by around 40% in the five years to 2011.
Already qualified and thinking of immigrating to Australia?
Qualified Agricultural Scientists thinking about immigrating to Australia can get a lot of useful information from this website – http://deltaimmigration.com.au/Agricultural-Scientist/234112.htm. It discusses different visa and sponsorship options for the various states in Australia.
And finally let’s hear from a very enthusiastic Agriculture student
My wife heard Rebecca Dunsmuir from La Trobe University in Victoria speak on ABC Rural radio early one morning in Naracoorte South Australia. It convinced me to write this article, so thanks Rebecca.
“We’re not even finished with our degree and the amount of businesses that ring our Uni and say ‘come and work for us’, it’s awesome!” she said. “They offer you any town, anything, just come and work.”
Just to hear how enthusiastic Rebecca is about Agriculture, here is a transcript of an interview she gave on ABC Rural radio about her trip to China in 2014. Very infectious.
Yes – Agriculture has a job waiting for you right now! Get qualified!