The success of our graduates is also a testament to the usefulness of agricultural majors. Students majoring in "agriculture" study farm management, horticulture, and animal sciences—as well as agricultural and food business, food science, biological engineering, plant breeding and genetics, wildlife biology and forestry, biochemistry, microbiology, entomology, and other exciting, science-based areas. Our graduates take jobs in a wide variety of industries, pursue research careers, and work in public service in the US and internationally.
Across all four of our agricultural colleges, total enrollment the highest in 30+ years, applications are going up and, most importantly, at the end of their undergraduate careers, our students are facing excellent job or graduate program opportunities. Placement rates are higher than 90%, with 16-26% of that total choosing to pursue advanced degrees and professional education.
Beyond the statistics about jobs, let’s think about some basic human needs and consider what "degrees" will prepare a young man or woman to help provide for those needs. Adequate nutrition is a basic need of all humans. Our planet recently reached the 7 billion population mark and the United Nations estimates we will have 2.3 billion more people to feed by the year 2050. We must address how to feed all these people with little expansion of land; in a way that conserves our water resources; and in a fashion that society judges acceptable and even more respectful of our environment. For answers, take a closer look at our agricultural majors.
In addition, those in agriculture will make important contributions to our country’s energy requirements and help provide feedstocks for other industrial materials. To meet these challenges, a growing number of passionate, smart, and well-prepared people have a lot ofwork to do. And we see and talk to these people every day in our campus classrooms, labs and fields.
That’s why we’re very excited by the prospects for our graduates. Agriculture has been one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy during the current recession and incredible opportunities exist for new economic development in our states and our country. Our graduates are currently writing their own story, and the headline reads: “College Majors that are Invaluable.”