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Employment in the agricultural industry is expected to decline through 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers face a 19 percent decrease in employment, while employment of general agricultural workers will decline by 3 percent. The DOL predicts that several trends should help farmers and other specialized workers in this industry. Some farmers are prospering by focusing on growing specialty crops, participating in farmer-owned and -operated cooperatives, or switching to all-organic farming practices in response to public fears about the effects of pesticides and fertilizers used in traditional agriculture. The output of organic, small farms is highly sought after in many urban markets, where farmers sell their products at weekly farmers markets or through community-supported agriculture initiatives. This kind of market should provide opportunity for growth in this industry over the next decade.
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