New jobs sprouting in agriculture

Rock Springs, Centre County, Pa. - Science and agriculture are becoming one in the same.

Now leaders in the industry say job opportunities for future generations go beyond the role of a traditional farmer.

Aden Russell, a product specialist for Valley Ag and Turf, said these day the agriculture industry can't rely on family ties.

He said he grew up on a farm and knew he'd work in the field.

But things are evolving, and now all grown up, Russell sees how technology is making a big impact.

And the day has come where tractors can go on autopilot.

At the Russell E Larson Research Farm in Rock Springs, staff teamed up to host "Plant Yourself in Agriculture Day."

The event is intended to show high school and college students advancements in farming.

"We don't have to milk cows seven days a week, we need people to support the people that do milk cows seven days a week," Russell said.

The industry is getting smarter.. from GPS systems to new seed technology, there's a need for engineers and IT experts. 

Jesse Darlington, a site manager at the farm, said people just need to know about the job opportunities.

"We really want to let those folks know that we're trying to educate where agriculture is and where it is going in the future," Darlington said.

The farm works closely with Penn State's agriculture school, which says there's nearly 60,000 jobs available but there's not enough student interest to fill the need. 

"We need employees. We need students to get involved with agriculture, not only with farming aspects, we do need the farmers, but we need the people that are going to design the future for agriculture," Darlington said.

And the progress isn't just on land.

Drones are giving farmers a bird's eye view to better monitor their crops.

Tige Kutt, Owner of Valley Ag and Turf, said everyone in the industry should be embracing the modernization.

"Agriculture will never be a dying breed no matter how you look at it," Kutt said.

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