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Graduates in agriculture

Author: Rowarth, Jacqueline

Organisation: Primary Industry Management

Published: March 2014

Country: New Zealand

Research type: Report

Headlines such as ‘A dearth of agriculture graduates is threatening food sustainability’ in the United Kingdom, ‘Concerns over shortage of agriculture graduates’ and ‘Australia running out of food freshers’ from across the Tasman, along with ‘Agriculture begging for graduates’ from New Zealand have featured in the media in the last 12 months. They indicate a failure globally to explain to society the realities of what it takes to produce food sustainably. They also show that we have failed as an industry, despite all best endeavours, to encourage and enable the younger generations to move into the rewarding and challenging careers which are available in the primary sector. This article considers the change in students over the last few decades, why the world is in its current predicament, what other countries are doing about it, and how New Zealand can take action.