A few months ago, a “writer” by the name of Terrance Loose wrote a piece for Yahoo Education entitled College Majors That Are Useless, and in that article listed several majors that are anything but useless. On that list agriculture, animal science, and horticulture were listed as three of the top five most worthless college majors. I question whether Mr. Loose has ever considered that his meat and potatoes might have come from somewhere other than a grocery store.
Luckily, the article has been pulled apart by the scenes by countless people in the agriculture and education professions. One counter was written by four deans of agriculture colleges at four major land grant universities (including a dean from my Alma Mater, Iowa State University) – No Limits to the Value of an Agricultural Degree. The article outlines the real outlook on agriculture degrees and explains how the job outlook for agriculture, animal , and natural resource scientists not only good, but there is a huge shortage in people with training in these fields. Unemployment for those disciplines is very low even in the current recession, and that unemployment is projected to be low at least for the next decade due to the demand of people with these so called “useless” majors.
A second notable counter to Mr. Loose’s article has been offered by an advocacy group called Farmers Fight, which was started by students at Texas A&M. They maid a great video to get the message out:
The video does a great way of succinctly expressing the inherent value of several major agricultural degrees in a way that shows how agriculture is relevant to even those who live in an urban setting. Farmers fight also has a blog, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page if you would like to follow the effort. Please spread this video and help to make it go “viral”.
My take is this: everybody eats, we have a growing human population, there is only so much arable land on planet Earth. You tell me how “worthless” a degree may be from the agricultural sciences.