Exploring Careers in Agriculture

With graduation season coming around, it’s time for many young people to start thinking about what they want to study once they get to college. While there are many options to pick from, the agriculture industry holds quite a few. Agriculture can be an exciting industry with a wide variety of opportunities that will continue to be in high demand for years to come. Within it, you can find production, management, economics, pathology, and even engineering. Here are some interesting careers to take another look at.

Agricultural Salesperson

People in the agriculture industry require pretty specific goods — and people who know about them. A person in agricultural sales must be well-versed in the goods available, what people need, and also be business-minded.

Agriculture EconomistDave Miller 2x2 140108

Agriculture economists deal with the complex relationship between agriculture, the economy, set government structures, and reliance on natural resources. Job opportunities can range through many business areas.

Agricultural Engineer

Do you like to understand how things work? Do you like to be creative and solve problems? Working in an agricultural engineer position might be a good fit.

Agronomist

Agronomists are scientists who work with plants, soil, and the environment to help producers utilize the best technology to grow the most efficient crops, while caring for the land they use. Careers can range from conservation and crop consulting to genetics and research.

Animal Scientist

Being an animal scientist is a lot more than just raising animals — but it can be that, too! When you study animal science, you will learn skills that can prepare you for careers in management, nutrition, animal breeding, or even research, outreach, and extension jobs.

Botanist

Botany, horticulture, and plant sciences are interesting and marketable ways to get involved with plant production, biotechnology, fruit production, or a wide variety of other careers. Check out this link for more information.

Dairy Scientist

Here in the Midwest, dairy is definitely important. Though dairy science may be lumped with animal science in some institutions, there are some key differences in the final product that are setting the two apart more and more.

Extension Specialist

Here in Iowa especially, Extension and Outreach has played and will continue to play a large part in how producers manage their businesses, farms, and ranches. Extension specialists field questions (sometimes quite literally) that local producers may have, and help disseminate information they think people could use.

Forester

Forestry and natural resources are great ways to get involved in nature. By studying in this field, you can become a traditional forester, or maybe you could become a conservation biologist or even a park ranger.

Soil Scientistcelia takachi

Have you ever wanted to know more about the stuff on the bottom of your shoes? By studying soil science, you can work with agronomists to help producers manage their resources sustainably and efficiently, or work with conservationist efforts to help producers take care of their soil in the best way possible.

Weed Scientist

Weed management is an interesting and challenging aspect of plant science and agronomy. Weed scientists work to help producers get a handle on their most problematic weed species in a safe and reliable way.
Though this definitely isn’t a comprehensive list of all possible agriculture careers, perhaps you learned of one or two that are worth looking into. As the field continues to grow and develop, new positions will crop up and new specialists will be needed. Maybe one of those specialists will be you.

-Chrissy

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