NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — University of Idaho agricultural economist Garth Taylor says the number of jobs in agriculture has declined, but the demand for highly skilled workers is growing.

Taylor told the Idaho Press-Tribune that farms and food processing companies have become more efficient thanks to technology, allowing them to handle more acreage or product with fewer people. But he says those same companies need more highly skilled workers to keep the technology running.

Agribusiness makes up 23 percent of all jobs in Canyon County, and the Census of Agriculture shows the market value of crop and livestock sales was more than $420 million for the county in 2007. Taylor says the region's advantage is that much of what is grown in the county is processed there, keeping jobs in the county.