b'ABACs Success in Growing Ag WorkforceAgricultural Jobs Are Ripefor the PickingI t may seem like a daunting task for the millions of college graduates on the hunt for their first professional job. E R U LT U C I R AG According to a recent study from Burning Glass Technologies, a labor-market analytics firm, during the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring in the U.S. declined 45 percent for college graduates seeking entry-level positions.The news is more favorable for graduates starting careers within the agriculture industry. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agricultures National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University shows a strong demand for new college graduates with degrees in agricultural programs. In the U.S., new college graduates can expect approximately 60,000 job opportunities annually through 2025, representing a 2.5 percent growth from the previous five years. Think beyond traditional farming and ranching. Agricultural careers span more LANDON ROWE, ABACthan 200 options, including natural resources, biology and genetics, engineering, chemistry, food production, sales and marketing, and the list continues.In the U.S., where the agricultural workforce represents 22 million people, one in every 12 American jobs depends on agriculture. Here in the Peach State, where agriculture continues to rank as the No. 1 industry,Graduates: Representing the class of 2021, left to right, Youry Gonzalez, Katibeth Mims, and John David Lee.10 SG MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021 BUSINESS + CULTURE 11'