The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, under Governor Tom Wolf, has launched a workforce development initiative, part of which is to promote and expand the state’s agriculture education opportunities, as well as career and technical education (CTE) programs.
Through this workforce development initiative, the department has assessed the present employment picture in agriculture and food industries and developed a forecast for the future.
Today, there are nearly 600,000 Pennsylvania jobs tied to these industries. The department has identified the 25 most in-demand occupations, which span sectors like production agriculture; animal health and veterinary services; landscaping; food manufacturing, forestry, lumber and wood products; and conservation and natural resources.
The department is pursuing the workforce development initiative to:
- Identify demand-driven career pathways and agriculture and food-related occupations,
- Marshal substantial resources that already exist in a variety of systems,
- Identify gaps in education and training,
- Focus on work-based learning including micro-credentials and apprenticeships as methods to fill those gaps, and
- Address the needs of young people and adults on the way to finding solutions to the shortage of talent in the near and long-term.
Pennsylvania Agricultural Workforce Data
In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture identified a need to gather and illustrate demographic data on farmworkers across the state. The department partnered with Team Pennsylvania and Econsult to create a resource that shows data about farmworkers at a county level. The data from this tool will help guide future policy decisions and also help inform diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the department. The data will be updated annually to ensure real-time accurate data.
Access the Pennsylvania Agricultural Workforce Data Tool.