Nationwide, the agriculture and food systems industry varies greatly in breadth and depth. While the way governmental agencies organize their oversight functions and the way that supply and distribution chains function vary state by state, the essential components of the industry are as follows:
- Agriculture Production
- Food Processing
- Distribution, Logistics, and Transportation
- Retail Food Distribution
Employers from each of these components employ a diverse workforce, which includes farmers, food safety inspectors, scientists, engineers, truck drivers, and many more. As in other industries, agriculture and food systems are in the midst of a severe labor shortage and apprenticeship offers employers opportunities to upskill workers and meet their talent pipeline demand.
Essential Components of Agriculture and Food Systems
Information on the four essential components of agriculture and food systems can be found here.
The following are tools, successful program examples, and other resources that can be used to help expand apprenticeship in agriculture and food systems industry.
- Listing of Agriculture and Food Occupations (O*NET OnLine)
- Overview of Careers in the Agriculture and Food Industry (AG Explorer)
Agriculture Equipment Service Technician Program Materials
The following materials have been produced by the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association (NEDA) in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to build core apprenticeship competencies. NEDA represents over 450 agricultural, industrial, rental and outdoor power equipment dealers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. These competencies set the foundation for NEDA’s other apprenticeship programs.
- Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship
- Veterinary Assistant (Foothill College)
- Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship (PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture)
- Certified Horticultural Crop Specialist (Mid-America Food Hub and the Missouri Department of Economic Development)
- Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program (National Association of Landscape Professionals)
- Agriculture Commodity Grader Apprenticeship (US Department of Agriculture)
Examples of Unregistered Agriculture-Related Apprenticeships:
- Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program (Green Gulch Farm)
- Vegetable Production Apprenticeship (Phillies Bridge Farm Project)
- Vegetable Apprenticeship (Liberty Farms)
- Registered Farm Apprenticeships are in Demand, but Difficult to Implement (University of Illinois)