Building a Stronger Workforce for Missouri’s Food, Ag, and Forestry Employers

Are you an employer of workers in ag, food or forestry?

An agro processing plant and silos fronted by a cornfield

University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri Agricultural Foundation are undertaking a workforce needs assessment for Missouri’s food, agriculture and forestry industry to better understand the challenges you face.

This project will focus on worker demand in four industries — agricultural producers, agricultural inputs and services, food and related products manufacturing and forestry products manufacturing — and consider the challenges that employers face in meeting that demand.

If you employ workers in one of these four industries, we want to hear from you. We realize that time is valuable, and ask you to participate in our assessment by taking a brief survey about your workforce needs, challenges, and future outlook. Your response will be anonymous and the survey should take less than 15 minutes.

If you'd like to contribute further, we ask that you sign up for a focus group. Apart from our survey, we would like to spend some time face to face with employers. To hear from you directly, we've scheduled 8 in-person focus groups across the state. We ask that you donate 1.5 hours of your time to help us understand your challenges and outlook regarding the future of your workforce. To sign up for a focus group near you, please click the button below.

2020 Focus Groups

Location Date Host
Kansas City January 24 Kansas City Area Development Council
Macon January 27 Macon Electric Cooperative
St. Joseph February 14 St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce
St. Louis February 18 Danforth Plant Science Center
Sedalia February 21 State Fair Community College
Springfield February 24 eFactory
Jefferson City March 3 Center for Soy Innovation
Sikeston March 6 Sikeston Electric Cooperative

Project outcomes

Smiling woman in lab coat and hard hat in meat factory

This effort will result in a detailed report that will allow Missouri agricultural employers, industry leaders and policymakers to have a better understanding of:

  • The composition of Missouri’s food, agriculture and forestry workforce
  • The scale of current and future demands for workers and skills
  • Relevant education and training needs, and Missouri’s capacity to meet those needs
  • The critical workforce issues around which to focus future efforts

This final report will help industry leaders, educators and policymakers make the data-driven decisions and investments necessary to strengthen Missouri’s food, agriculture and forestry current and future workforce.

For more information, contact: Mark C. White