A study was undertaken to develop a profile of the food and agricultural industry in Southern California and the educational background preferred by managers for entry level, college graduates in these firm. Approximately 90% of the 177 responding firms operate beyond the farm gate, and 42% engage in international business. The largest proportion of the firms has sales in the $1 million to $10 million range and employ more than 50 employees. Over half of the firms engaged in international business employ less than six employees in the international division.

Managers stress the importance of interpersonal and communicative skills for prospective employees. They also appear ro place a higher value on the acquisition of skills than on acquired knowledge or experience. International business firm rate knowledge about export policies, trade barriers and international marketing the highest. Three quarters of the managers indicate that a bachelors degree is sufficient for entry level employment. Entry level employment in international business, however, appears to require a higher degree level than does employment in domestic markets.



food and agricultural firms, Southern California, international agriculture, employment

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