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What is a popular field to go into for agriculture right now?

I want to do something agriculture related but I'm not sure what field to go into. #agriculture

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Subject: Career question for you


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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Brevin,

Careers in Agriculture and Forestry make up one of the largest industries and sources of long-term employment in the country, providing jobs for millions of Americans. These careers supply us with a multitude of food products and alternative energies, among many other important resources for sustaining our country and contribution to the world economy. In addition, these careers - particularly those associated with Forestry - conserve our natural resources and assure we have bountiful supplies of land to utilize in the future. Many of the careers in the Agriculture and Forestry industry are considered “Green Careers,” meaning that the careers are involved in preserving or protecting our environmental resources.

Many careers in Agriculture and Forestry will place workers in food production environments, including farms, hatcheries, and nurseries. In addition, some careers may place employees in wild environments that are involved in commodity production, including forests, rivers, mountains, and natural other areas.

It is recommended that those seeking a career in Agriculture and Forestry enjoy working outdoors and/or working with animals. The ability to work independently in potentially isolating environments is also a good trait to possess, as certain careers requiring fieldwork may place employees away from their homes and families for extended periods of time. It's also important to know that some of these jobs are physically demanding and can be dangerous, depending on what kind of heavy equipment you're required to use and what weather conditions you're required to work in. Aversion to hard labor is not recommended for those wishing to break into the Agriculture and Forestry industry.

There are many different career options in the Agriculture and Forestry industry, ranging from more manual labor-oriented positions to advanced scientific careers that require a great deal of education:

  1. Agricultural Communications
    Agriculture is such a big business that many of the major agricultural, farming and ranching companies house departments dedicated to promoting and marketing their products. Individuals involved in agricultural communications often work as marketers, public relations experts or journalists.

  2. Agricultural Economics
    Someone has to price, broker and assess the agricultural economy from day to day and year to year. The fact is that the agricultural economy can be greatly affected by issues like drought, flood and outbreaks of food borne illness. It's the role of the agricultural economist to address these issues.

  3. Agricultural Education
    Someone has to teach agricultural courses and pursue agricultural research. This largely falls on the shoulders of instructors and education specialists within the agricultural education field. While you may think teachers only exist within high school and college settings, many large agricultural organizations also employ agriculture educators and researchers.

  4. Agricultural Engineering
    One area of agriculture that requires an advanced degree within a field of engineering is agricultural engineering. Agriculture requires the extensive use of machinery, buildings, water lines and waste management, all which require expert knowledge to keep the food supply safe.

  5. Agronomy/Soils
    Agronomy deals with soil management and crop production. Most upper level positions within this field require an advanced degree in agriculture, biology or genetics, but there are some positions (particularly those in sales) that may require only a high school education and experience within the field.

  6. Animal Sciences
    If you love working with livestock like pigs, cattle or horses, you may want to look into careers within animal sciences. These individuals may help with the care of animals as ranch hands or breeders, or they may take on more scientific roles as large animal veterinarians or animal geneticists.

  7. Food Sciences
    It's one thing to have crops and livestock on a ranch, but it's another thing entirely to turn those resources into food that's ready to be placed on the table in homes around the world. Individuals involved in food sciences deal with safety, research and product development before the food hits the shelves.

Most state colleges and universities offer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate degrees within agriculture. Even if the schools you're most interested in don't appear to offer specific degrees in agriculture, pursuing an advanced degree in science, business or journalism could help you take coursework that would provide the same basic background required for a career in agriculture. It's a good idea to talk to a college counselor before signing up for classes to ensure that you're on the right track.

Here are some links that can help you:

I wish you all the best!