Grain News

Coalition For a Sustainable Ag Workforce Issues 2013 Ag Science Workforce Census

Date Posted: March 26, 2014

In 2013, CSAW conducted (through a third party research firm) a confidential survey among CSAW member companies to better understand their projected, near-term needs for hiring domestic agricultural scientists.

CSAW 2013 Agricultural Science Workforce Census Final Report

CSAW 2013 Agricultural Science Workforce Census Executive Summary Presentation

Answers from the six largest responding CSAW life science companies show they expect to hire more than 1,000 domestic scientist-level FTEs between now and 2015, representing 13% of their current agricultural scientist workforce.

The largest numbers of ag scientists to hire (84% of the total) in the life-science focused identified disciplines were: plant sciences, plant breeding/genetics, and plant protection.

Nearly half (46%) will need to hold doctoral degrees.

These companies are concerned about their ability to successfully fill this workforce need between now and 2015.

In each of those three major disciplines, virtually all respondents concurred that:

• The pipeline of graduates in this discipline isn't as full as it needs to be.

• We anticipate challenges in finding quality applicants.

• We are likely to have difficulty hiring the education and experience we seek.

• We will need to retrain some hires in this discipline.

CSAW was organized by a consortium of agribusiness companies and scientific societies to promote the education and training of future generations of the agricultural workforce.

These data suggest there may be both a long-term and very near-term issue in finding the skill and talent needed to ensure a sustainable agricultural enterprise.

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