Need a Job? Think Agri-Business!

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Discussion of Agri-Business as a growth-industry for jobs & investment.

Discussion of Agri-Business as a growth-industry for jobs & investment.

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  • 1. NEED A JOB? THINK AGRI - BUSINESS! Alan Walsh, Owner Walsh Enterprises, Business & Financial Advisors Finance & Accounting and Multi-Hat Business Professional October 20, 2010 I’ve been saying it for years, and events just continue to prove me out with increasing clarity & intensity. Agri-business is a growth-industry that job-seekers and investors need to investigate carefully. Population-growth continues, while the quantity of arable land is relatively scarce. Food has become such a critical issue that a poor harvest in one country has ripple-effects around the globe. Investment marketplaces erupt over new crop news. Price increases cause economic spasms; and sometimes riots. People starve for lack of it. It’s a hot topic in political circles; not only regarding quantity, availability, and price; but also for quality and nutritive value. Numerous factors come into play; such as increasingly fished-out oceans, and poorly-used land that becomes unarable. The demand for food will only continue to grow; and as developing countries go through their industrial revolutions their citizens will gain wealth and want more of everything. Meanwhile, those nations not so fortunate continue to wrestle with hunger & starvation. Agri-business encompasses just about every business & professional activity one can think of: from basic farm labor –to- food processors, packagers, distributors, sales & marketing people, engineers, scientists & researchers, accountants & administrators, international trade experts, and others. Vast secondary industries exist to provide farm & processing equipment, processing & packaging and storage facilities, refrigeration, transportation, seed, fertilizers, pesticides, and other needs. Technology is being increasingly applied to achieve higher yields and improved production & distribution. The industry needs managers & executives who can innovatively provide greater quantities, of higher quality, distributed more efficiently, at reduced cost; without health- threatening chemicals or poorly-conceived genetic alteration. Those with a bent toward government will find increasing opportunities as this topic intensifies in political & economic importance. Those in academia will find increasing opportunities for research into food-related subjects. As population growth and socio-economic shifts continue, the opportunities will only intensify. The U.S. will continue to be a major player due to the unique combination of factors that make it a leading producer. With global demand growing, pressure will intensify on the U.S. to feed the world. Developing countries will eventually become more efficient at feeding their own populations; but they’ll be decades behind the U.S. due to our massive lead. Much of the science & technology to bolster their home-grown agri- business will come from developments already used in the U.S. We’ll keep ourselves busy just meeting increased demand; and the related challenges, such as re-enriching stressed farmland. Water availability, and the politics & infrastructure that go with it, will become increasingly hot topics. Water is already shaping up to be a major “hot potato”
  • 2. of the 21st century. Creative minds will be increasingly focused on making unarable land productive. Then there’s all the civil infrastructure necessary to get food from field to table; roads, bridges, power plants, railroads, port facilities, etc. U.S. infrastructure is getting old, and will need replacement & expansion. All of this can only have a positive impact on U.S. agri-business and the economy as a whole. People in developing countries have an opportunity to be the “tip of the sword” in developing their own countries’ agri-business. There’s already a vast agri-business infrastructure all around us; and an even bigger infrastructure supporting it. Take a hard look, think creatively, and find a niche for yourself. Lots of bright minds will be needed. Why not be one of them? Those of you who are entrepreneurially-oriented will find opportunities abounding if you just give it some creative thought. Many of you want to make a contribution to a “greener” world. It doesn’t get any more “green” than this. After all, what’s more basic to the human condition, and rewarding, than putting good, affordable food on peoples’ tables. We’ve all gotta’ eat!