As we move through the 21st century, agriculture and agricultural work, which have long been a staple of human society, face an uncertain future. Huge changes loom on the horizon: technological advancement, corporate consolidation, and climate change are all are poised to transform agriculture as we know it. These changes raise an important question: what does the future of agriculture hold for the agricultural workforce?
With so much uncertainty, the future of work in agriculture is likely to look unlike anything we have seen before. The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, with support from X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X), brought together a range of experts for a design workshop to discuss current trends and challenges facing agriculture and agricultural work, new technologies and their potential impact on the industry and work, and ideas for potential intervention. Together, this diverse group, which included perspectives from the private sector, academia, nonprofits, and government, addressed the transformations currently underway, and explored policies and interventions that could pave the way for a future in which everyone is fed and all workers can thrive.