One of the most popular majors in college these days is apparently Agriculture.
Colleges that have strong programs are all seeing increases in students entering those programs. At Penn State, for example, student enrollment in the Agriculture department is up 40%. Iowa State University shows a 95% job placement upon graduation.
Students are apparently choosing the programs because they have a high rate of job placement, the growing industry, and the fact that agriculture is the only industry still kicking in this weak economy.
Of course, some of the students are also interested in going against traditional agriculture. The College of Agriculture Dean at the University of Connecticut said:
“The focus here is on local foods, small farms, maintaining our local dairy industry, which is still fairly large …. They want that pastoral setting as they drive down a country road and see cows in a pasture, in contrast to Iowa, where they have a large agriculture industry.” (Source)
Hopefully the schools will also teach them the economics of farming, not just push a political agenda.
Nonetheless, the increased interest in agriculture is a good thing due to the challenges facing agriculture. Given the interest and job placement, it also negates the idea that getting a degree in agriculture is a waste of time or money.