Ridgetown sends 109 ag grads into a booming job market
RIDGETOWN — The 109 agriculture graduates from the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus might find employers lining up to hire them, according to a survey commissioned by the university’s Ontario Agricultural College.
The June 1 convocation, the campus’ 60th, feted 264 graduates from diploma and certificate programs in agriculture, horticulture, environmental management, veterinary technology, performance horse handling, and veterinary office administration.
Nearly $27,000 in cash and awards were showered on graduates, including many ag grads — Ridgetown’s Mitchell Pool (valedictorian and Leonard R. Giffin Memorial Award), who works for a local cash crop, elevator and trucking company; Brucefield’s Joel Brodie (Stan Olson Young Agriculturist Award); Gorrie’s Derek Van Den Boogaard (proficiency in insect and disease management); and Atwood’ s Darryl Dewar (proficiency in commodity marketing).
Graduates not returning to the home farm are about to discover they are entering a booming agri-food job market. The survey of 100 Ontario agri-food organizations boasts there will be three jobs for every graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Employers surveyed had job openings in sales and marketing, production, financial analysis and research, and are looking for applicants with scientific knowledge and technical skills in crop science, animal science and genetics.