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Canadian agriculture attracting interest and opportunities

The number of students studying in agriculture or ag-related programs continues to grow, as Statistics Canada data reveals there were a total of 12,168 students enrolled in these programs in 2014, a 2.7-per-cent increase from the previous year and a 16.6-per-cent overall increase from 2009-10.


December 12, 2016
By Farm Credit Canada

Enrollments in agricultural programs grew at a rate double of all post-secondary enrollments (2.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively), while full-time enrollment rates in these programs have been steady over the past five years.

A recent informal Farm Credit Canada (FCC) survey of 33 post-secondary institutions offering agriculture and ag-related programs confirms agriculture has become a popular career option, especially over the past five years as the industry has grown.

The need to attract skilled and educated young people to Canada’s agriculture industry is highlighted in a recent study by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC).

Agriculture 2025: How the Sector’s Labour Challenges Will Shape its Future shows the gap between labour demand and the domestic workforce in agriculture has doubled from 30,000 to 59,000 in the past 10 years and projections indicate that by 2025, the Canadian agri-workforce could be short workers for 114,000 jobs. The study also reveals that primary agriculture has the highest industry job vacancy rate at seven per cent.

“Given that one in eight jobs in Canada are tied to the agri-food industry, there are a lot of opportunities for young people,” says Todd Klink, FCC’s chief marketing officer. “The growing interest in agriculture education shows we can be optimistic for the future of agriculture.”