Dairy brand Arla has called on young adults to consider farming as a career – as it emerged that one in three have no idea what agricultural roles actually involve.

The top career aspirations for adults aged 18-24 include analytical jobs, jobs that involve scientific testing, and roles that tackle climate change, according to a poll of 500 people in this age range.

But a third of those polled are unaware that agricultural roles actually tick many of these boxes.

And when faced with a dairy farmer in the street, clueless adults were challenged to guess his occupation – with guesses including a sportsman, a musician, and even a lawyer.

Adam Johnstone, 27, from Hampshire, dressed in shorts, a jumper, and a jacket for the experiment – prompting people to guess he was a coffee shop owner, or worked for a hiking brand.

He even gave people clues on his daily duties – including scientific testing, being in the great outdoors regularly, high business acumen, and driving positive change for the climate.

The research was commissioned by Arla, which is looking to attract the next generation of farmers to help deliver future changes, and to engage the Government in their mission to raise awareness of new initiatives, such as its Climate Check programme.

Paul Savage, director of UK agriculture at the dairy brand, said: “Sustainability is about ensuring a sustainable workforce for the future, and that is why we need our younger generation to step-up and consider a future in dairy, to help drive the changes we’ve already identified.

“There is clearly a knowledge gap within Gen Z Brits – and it’s our job, alongside the Government, to ensure there are enough future farmers in place to help drive the changes that will help the industry meet its climate commitments.”

When asked about the role dairy farmers play in tackling the climate crisis, 45% weren’t aware they’re working day in, day out, towards lowering climate emissions.

And 67% didn’t know they spend most of their time using technology to gather and analyse data, working to improve the sustainability of their farms, and taking a data-led approach to the work they do.

It also emerged two-thirds of young adults think it’s important farmers use renewable energy technologies.

But nearly half of those were unaware that solar panels and wind turbines can already be found on many farms, and often have the capacity to generate enough energy to power homes in the local area.

Paul Savage, from Arla, added: “In October last year, we launched a Sustainability Incentive Model – a new way of rewarding farmers for their actions to reduce emissions through the milk price.

“And we’re already collecting data for our 2023 Climate Checks report, with the results to be published in Autumn 2023.

“We’re calling on the Government to join with the industry in encouraging more young Brits to consider a role in agriculture, and to help them gain the skills they need.”

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