The post below is modified from the original blog post on Swinecast.
The old story “Acres of Diamonds” told by Russell Conwell in the early 20th century, may ring true today when one considers the growth of the Latino population and our present and future needs for talent in Agriculture.
According to the story, an old farmer heard about rare diamonds that would give him wealth without limit. He sold his farm and went away and spent many years in search of these diamonds, never to find them. Finally, he gave up, threw himself into the sea and drowned… poor and destitute.
Back home, years later, the man that purchased the old farmer’s land found some “black stones” in a river stream one day… Long story short, the “black stones” ended up being “diamonds in the rough” and later, the old farm became one of the biggest diamond mines in the history of humankind. Right under his own feet, in his own land, the old farmer had acres and acres of diamonds. And so the story goes…
What does this have to do with Latinos and the present and future needs for talent in Agriculture? Do Latinos represent “acres of diamonds”when it comes to future leadership in Agriculture?
If I get the moral of the story right, right here, right now we have an emerging demographic that can represent the leaders of tomorrow.With over 50 million Latinos in the U.S and the numbers projected to be over 30% of the total population by 2050, Latinos represent “acres of diamonds” to Agriculture.
With the age of the average farmer increasing, and individuals starting to retire, there is a gap of talent in the future of Agriculture and Latinos could potentially fill that gap.
This growth in population and these numbers represent a market… a potential market for Agriculture. A market of present and future employees, consumers, employers and “agvocates”.
But, we need to proactively approach this population. We need to realize that Latinos represent more than lettuce pickers and illegal aliens. Nothing wrong with picking lettuce, in fact we may even be the best ones at that! Media and politics are playing a large part in influencing how we view this segment of the population.
Maybe it is time to seize the opportunity Latinos represent to Agriculture.