MDAC conducting Agriculture Workforce Development needs assessment

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) are seeking input from the agriculture industry and agriculture-related job employers concerning workforce needs.

MDAC is conducting a needs assessment survey designed to help better understand, develop, and expand the largest workforce industry in Mississippi.

According to a media release, data collected from the survey will determine the needs of the agriculture workforce in Mississippi and will be utilized to create mechanisms to provide more opportunities for students and job seekers to connect them with potential jobs and employers in the agriculture industry. 

“The purpose of the newly-established Agriculture Workforce Development Program is to meet the demands of the agriculture workforce. This survey provides those offering agriculture-related jobs to identify and communicate their needs to us,” said Commissioner Gipson. “I encourage those that offer any type of agriculture job, whether it be in sales, production, research, technology or manufacturing – from the field to the factory – to complete the survey in order to assist the department in understanding the needs of our agriculture industry so that we can move Mississippi agriculture forward.” 

A 2018 study by the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center indicated 8,798 agriculture jobs were available for high school graduates, with an additional 1,529 agriculture jobs available for community college graduates. However, only 1,200 high school students graduate with agricultural training and only 105 community college students graduate with an agricultural degree in Mississippi.  

“The greatest investment we can make for Mississippi agriculture is in our young people, and we are making this a top priority,” said Commissioner Gipson. “We want job seekers to know there are career opportunities out there for them, and we want to help connect them with these opportunities.”

Click here to take the online Agriculture Workforce Development.

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