Today at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 2023 Annual Meeting, NASDA members amended the organization’s policy to support increased investment in apprenticeships and educational programs and directed the organization to support federal funding for agricultural education and workforce development programs.
“Across state departments of agriculture and industry-wide, there is a tremendous need for workers with training specializing in agricultural fields,” 2022-2023 NASDA President Director Miyamoto said. “NASDA believes that investment in certificate programs, micro-credentials and apprenticeships can fast-track new graduates and those looking to switch careers into the agricultural industry while ensuring they have the knowledge and skills necessary to continue advancing the industry.”
Looking at the long-game, one of NASDA’s new amendments for the organization specifically asks USDA to develop agricultural literacy resources for guidance counselors and other school professionals to help elementary and secondary school students discover career options in agriculture.
“Through engaging early to showcase the reward in working in agriculture, we can support and advance a skilled and stable agricultural workforce,” NASDA 2022-2023 President Doug Miyamoto said. “Investing in our agricultural workforce is investing in the resilience of the agriculture industry.”
To advance the same goal, NASDA Foundation is working with National Ag in the Classroom Organization, Nourish the Future, Children Learning through Outdoor Experiences (ChLOE) via the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and other partners to explore opportunities to engage with USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Ag and Food Research Initiative grants focused on education and workforce development. Those grants include the Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy, Agricultural Workforce Training at Community Colleges, Food and Agricultural Non-Formal Education, and Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates programs.
The NASDA Foundation also hosts the NASDA’s Next Generation program taking place at the NASDA annual meeting this year and every year since 2015.
In less than nine years, 5.35 million jobs will be available in the agriculture and food sectors. To learn more about careers in agriculture and what NASDA is doing to support workforce development visit nasda.org/WorkInAg.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.