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Looking for a job? There's a need in agriculture, industry president says

Keith Currie, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, says the agriculture industry is a good place for people to find jobs, because there's a skilled labour shortage.

Ontario Federation of Agriculture cites 'skilled labour shortage'

Keith Currie, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, says the agriculture industry is a good place for people to find jobs, because there's a skilled labour shortage. (Bonnie Allen/CBC)

If you're looking for a job, you'll have a great chance of finding one in agriculture, according to the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Keith Currie said the industry is experiencing "skilled labour issues," in which employers are unable to find workers who can operate and maintain technological equipment in agriculture.

"There's a lot of opportunities for the general public to be involved in the agri-food industry — not specifically on farm, but in the industry," Currie said, adding many people are "far removed" from what goes into food production.

"It's not their fault. That's just the way the world is today."

President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Keith Currie, says there are many opportunities for people from all disciplines to be successful in the agriculture industry. (Ontario Federation of Agriculture)

Technology needed in agriculture

For Currie, this week's International Plowing Match and Rural Expo is an opportunity for the public to learn more about how advanced the agriculture industry has become.

Tyler Hatton, a salesperson with McGrail Farm Equipment, said technology has gone from a "specialty market" to a "needed aspect" on the farm.

"We've got technologies in the sprayers that will monitor or adjust how much product they're putting on so they're not over-using or under-using," Hatton said.

He added that farmers are often purchasing "auto-track technology," in which tractors automatically drive straight — never veering off their intended path.

McGrail Farm Equipment salesperson Tyler Hatton said he was laughed at when he predicted drones would be an integral tool in the agriculture industry. Now, they're commonly used by farmers for "mapping, crop scouting and disease scouting." (Carolyn Dunn/CBC)

Drones have also become increasingly prevalent in the industry, allowing farmers to use them for "mapping, crop scouting and disease scouting."

Hatton said the future of farming is the autonomous tractor — a number of small tractors moving through a field without a driver.

with files from the CBC's Afternoon Drive

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