The Agriculture Careers Video Series and Workforce Development Webpage initiative highlights the diverse career opportunities available in agriculture field to audiences who are unlikely to have been previously exposed to agriculture careers. The landing page and videos were developed and shared with Grade 10 Careers and Civics students across 4 different school boards in Durham Region in 2022. The goal of this project is to attract the next generation of workers to the agriculture industry—an essential industry that has historically experienced immense labour shortages.
8 videos were created, each highlighting different career opportunities:
The Durham College W. Galen Weston Centre for Food- Food and Farming Horticulture program was also highlighted as a local opportunity to gain hands-on agricultural post-secondary training.
The videos feature local businesses and employees who provide an overview of the career and day-to-day tasks, what personality traits are a fit for the career, their path to entering the career, and what makes the career meaningful. The videos are designed to make the careers relatable for grade 10 students.
Additionally, an Agriculture and Food Workforce Development online toolkit was created to provide information and resources to students and others who want to learn more about agriculture careers.
Since launching the project, the landing page has received 678 views and the videos have been viewed 866 times. We have received positive feedback from the school boards about the videos and their content. We have been asked by educators to provide more agricultural workforce and career education as a project outcome, including being invited to speak to approximately 3000 students about careers in agriculture and agri-tech, and how those jobs integrate with the environment at the Kawartha Pineridge District School Board’s 2022 Environmental Symposium. An additional opportunity is to partner with specific schools to integrate agricultural careers and precision agriculture education into Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs. We are currently working with an Agriculture, Environmental Science, and Information Communication Technology SHSM classes. We will also be hosting a Field Day in spring 2023 to give SHSM students an opportunity to experience careers and agri-tech they learn about in the classroom, ‘in-action’.
The videos will be featured at the upcoming Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee farm tour in September. Throughout the pandemic, it became evident that labour shortages were severely impacting local agri-businesses and local food supply chain. Many students growing up in Durham don’t have exposure to agriculture and it doesn’t come to mind when they are thinking about their future. By providing education about opportunities available in agriculture, highlighting how to be a part of this valuable, rewarding, and essential industry, the next generation of agricultural workforce will be encouraged to consider a career in the agri-food industry.