The 6 Jobs

potential farming roles and skills in 2030

Have you noticed how fast the world changes? Just as we get used to mobile phones, the smart phone and the i-pad come along to fill our lives with aps and 24hour social media. As soon as we improve access to education, we see a huge rise in masters courses and doctorates as students become ever more competitive in an effort to stand out from the crowd. The world is designed for change. The human race is always looking for the next big thing, the latest development and the people with the skills to create the new world we crave.
This has never been truer in the agricultural world. Climate change, a growing global population, land and water shortages, peak oil and food security are all putting pressure on farmers to adapt and improve.

A growing world population with the potential to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a 50% increase in production by 2030. To cope, the food system will need to be low carbon, resilient, environmentally restorative and sustainable in social and economic terms. It’s all exciting and challenging stuff, but this vision is only 20 short years away – has anyone thought about what effect this will have on the day to day lives of farmer? What jobs will they be doing, what new kit will there be and, most importantly, will we have a labour force with the skills to function in this climate-changed world?

At Farming Futures we know that the farming calendar doesn’t leave much time for long-term planning. So we teamed up with Forum for the Future to do some future gazing for the industry. We’ve come up with six possible new jobs or specialisms that farmers could be doing as part normal day to day farming practice by 2030.

This piece of work was co-created by Farming Futures and Forum for the Future in 2010/2011.

We surveyed agricultural students to see how prepared they feel for the industry they are going to inherit. We also showed them these six possible new roles. You can see what they said here.

We wanted to:

  • Stretch current thinking on skills and roles in the agricultural industry
  • Highlight a positive future with an essential role for farmers and agriculture
  • Promote debate between incumbent farmers and the next generation
  • Use ‘futures thinking’ to help farmers take action to adapt to and mitigate climate change

As a result of this work we hope that those in the farming community are more prepared for the changes the future could bring. We’d like to see renewed investment and interest in skills and see an industry that is excited about the future possibilities offered by their profession