Merrigan, a former college professor, is making stops at universities across the country in hopes of encouraging more students to think about careers in agriculture. Aside from trying to stop the graying of America’s farmers, her work is made tougher by a recent blog posting that put agriculture at No. 1 on a list of “useless” college degrees. Top federal agriculture officials are talking about the posting, and it has the attention of agricultural organizations across the country.
“There couldn’t be anything that’s more incorrect,” Merrigan said. “We know that there aren’t enough qualified graduates to fill the jobs that are out there in American agriculture.”
In addition, a growing world population that some experts predict will require 70% more food production by 2050, she said.