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For an AV technician, stagehand and DIY professional, how to get into argiculture

I've become an enthusiast for aquaponic and permaculture systems with automated features. Are there certificate programs or short term warm-up classes in this field for adults? I've graduated with BA in Entertainment Technology in 2012. I'd like to pursue this for alternative lifestyle and possibly business. #engineering #agriculture #greenhouse #microgreens #postgraduate #newyorkcity

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Subject: Career question for you

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G. Mark’s Answer

You need to realize that there's nothing preventing you from pursuing knowledge and experience in other fields or occupations beside your own unwillingness to take on the additional work. If it turns out to be too much, fine -- move onto something else. But if you're studying in a college at all, you can either find courses that might prepare you more for agricultural pursuits or find another college that will. Also, for such a general and wide topic as "agriculture", there are many different ways you might approach this. Say you're in a university like Michigan State, which has a robust set of agriculture-related courses and activities and organizations, and you just go to those folks and pick their brains. There are programs you can participate in and that are active in agriculture and agriculture related projects.

As a DIY professional, you'll be quite handy in tackling problems facing agriculture and solving related application challenges.

Now, assuming you are an active AV technician and professional and have a full-time job, it may be difficult -- but not impossible -- to study agriculture in some way while employed. You might cut down your job hours to accommodate the extra studies or activities. You might want to get involved in projects for employment that combine your technical work with agriculture-related projects. Contact some organizations such as magazines related to farming. Every field today uses communication, and that's where you'll come in.

Lastly, go visit companies involved in agriculture and offer your services. As time goes on, you can take advantage of your connections. It'll be win-win. And quite exciting.

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Kate’s Answer

There are some internships and training opportunities at a company called Agritecture in NY. The greatest career opportunities at this time, are in hydroponics. There are some really large facilities in the New York area as well as Cbicago, SF and around other major cities. The Bowery, Plenty, Mighty Tomato. Train on the job and see where it takes you. Aquaponics is struggling to be profitable and efficient in North America. Permaculture is a very broad science related to landscape design, horticulture, Agroforestry or urban planning and requires a thorough knowledge of plants, growing conditions and the environment in a specific location. Permaculture certification courses are offered around the world. Best to take one where you will be practicing. The certificate is just the beginning. You will need far more training than the certificate alone to create a successful career in Permaculture.
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Mark’s Answer

Christopher,

Here in Australia , the University of New England have a Smart Farm. which you might find interesting. Because of your AV background you might be interested some of the problems around reducing the stress involved in weighing livestock eg sheep, cattle , fish.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

Get in touch with the contacts and UNE Smart farm and perhaps they can provide further information or refer you to organisations in your country.
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