Bulletin No.


Document Type



Department of Agricultural Education


Agriculture, the largest occupational field in the United States, employs about 40% of the total civilian labor force. In South Dakota approximately 85% of the total income (nearing the $1 billion mark) is derived from agriculture. On the basis of our survey of 126 South Dakota firms we conclude that at least 2,485 new workers with competencies in agriculture will be needed in this state by 1972.
The guidelines we suggest in this report for developing and implementing vocational and technical training programs for off-farm agricultural occupations in South Dakota are based on our findings of growth trends in present occupational areas, plus the new job areas that businesses and industries who responded to our survey predict will come into being.
This sampling of South Dakota firms indicates that new workers with competencies in agriculture will be needed in the 1968 to 1972 period in at least 480 business firms throughout South Dakota. Jobs include replacements for present workers and for newly created positions wrought by growth and development in these firms. The difficulties already experienced in filling jobs requiring specially trained workers in off-farm agriculture points to the need for more training programs.
Over half of the firms responding to this study desired some on-the-job training; 44.4% favored short courses provided by the industry; and 43.2% indicated a need for some form of in-service training. It is evident therefore, that opportunities for workers trained in agricultural competencies far exceed their supply. Furthermore this study substantiates the conclusion that as agricultural technology continues to flourish and as population continues to grow, new off-farm agricultural jobs will continue to grow.
More than three-fourths of the firms studied indicated they would hire new or additional agricultural workers in the next five years. These findings are conservative, since they are concerned only with South Dakota's present businesses, and do not reflect the numbers of workers needed in new and emerging agricultural businesses in the state.


South Dakota non-farm training needs, South Dakota agricultural educational programs, South Dakota off-farm training needs



Publication Date









South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State University