In agriculture, employers look far and wide for potential employees, including at the Ontario Agricultural College career fair held at the University of Guelph. With three jobs awaiting every Aggie graduate, it can be stiff competition for employers. Students start looking for jobs in third year to land a good position, of which there are many in the agri-food sector, particularly in the businesses and industries that support farmers. The pure and applied sciences learned at school combined with their communications abilities make them highly employable.
Some of these graduates head back to help run their family farm, so there’s an even smaller pool. A little over a decade ago farm parents were reluctant to encourage their kids to return to the operation due to low prices. Now, with the farm economy more even, returning to the farm is a viable option. But this still leaves the industry struggling to find people to fill jobs. Though it’s technologically advanced, equal to both genders, and pays well, it’s still surrounded by stereotypes of manual labour for low wages in a male- dominated culture. This isn’t restricted to Canada either; a global look at youth, gender and agriculture will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Guelph Public Library at 7 p.m., called “Who wants to be a farmer?”
Professor emeritus Ben White of Erasmus University in the Netherlands, will bring up thorny, difficult global issues such as gender inequality and income disparity between the rural and urban world. The timing is superb for his presentation, as harvest is upon us and the International Year of the Family Farm wraps up, which has received surprisingly little attention in Guelph. This is a good chance to give it some recognition.
For more information on the event click here.