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Careers in Agriculture
The most obvious careers are directly related to the farm or ranch. But did you know that only 10 percent of Americans are involved in traditional farming? If that is the case, then what other careers comprise the agricultural field? There are approximately 22 million people who work in agriculture related fields. Unlike agriculture of our grandparents' day, today's agriculture offers over 200 rewarding and challenging careers.
Agricultural careers may be divided into various categories. These include: Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications, Building Construction Management, Agriscience, Resource Development and Management, Parks, Recreations, and Tourism Resources, Packaging, Horticulture, Forestry, Food Science, and Fisheries/Wildlife.
Growth Job Market
According to the February 7, 2000 Issue of Farm Bureau News, published semimonthly by the American Farm Bureau Federation, "Food Scientists and engineers will be in the greatest demand in the agriculutural job market over the next four years, according to a new Purdue University study. Annual job openings for U.S. food and agricultural sciences graduates are projected to be around 58,000, while the number of graduates for those jobs will be slightly more than 57,000."
Agribusiness Managementfocuses on the managerial functions performed by organizations throughout the food system. Sample job titles: Commodity Trader, Agricultural Production Specialist, Purchasing Manager, Financial Manager, Farm Owner and Manager, and Wholesale/Retail Buyer Manufacturing Manager. Companies that hire for these positions: Seneca Food Corporation, Ralston Purina Co., Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., and Dow Elanco.
Agricultural and Natural Resources Communicationsfocuses on careers in journalism, public relations, and advertising/marketing. Sample job titles: Marketing Communications Manager, District Sales Representatives, Advertising Manager, Reporter, Editor, and Account Manager. Companies that hire for these positions: Upjohn Co., USDA, Michigan Milk Producers Association, National Dairy Council, and Michigan Farm Bureau.
Building Construction Managementfocuses on land development and structural buildings. Sample job titles: Project Manager, Estimator, Construction Scheduler, Controller, Purchasing Agent, Site Manager, Field Engineer, Land Developer, and Real Estate Appraiser. Companies that hire for these positions: Turner Construction Company, Pulte Homes, Perini Building Co., and General Motors Corporation.
Agriscienceprovides a foundation for careers in agricultural and natural resources industries. Sample job titles: Agriscience Educator, Extension Educator, Farmer, and Human Resource Director. Companies that hire for these positions: Crop Production Services, John Deere, and Gerber Co.
Resource Development and Managementfocuses on policy analysis, planning, evaluation, budgeting, and program management. Sample job titles: Environmental Analyst, Environmental Planner, Solid Waste Coordinator, Water Resource Specialist, and Economic Development Specialist. Companies that hire for these positions: Cooperative Extension Service, The Clinton River Watershed, The National Park Service, Enviroscope, Senate and House Policy Offices, Lobbying Organizations, Banking Organizations, City and State governments, and Hospitals.
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Resourcesfocuses on planning and managing programs, areas, and facilities that are designed to meet people's leisure needs and enhance quality of life. Sample job titles: Park Ranger, Interpreter/Naturalist, Environmental Educator, Travel and Convention Planner, Youth Program Director, Camp Counselor, Park and Recreation Director, and Tourism Consultant. Companies that hire for these positions: Hilton and Marriott Resorts, Hospitals, YMCA, Golf Courses, Six Flags Great Adventure, and the Walt Disney Company.
Packagingfocusing on food packaging, health care and pharmaceutical packaging, and industrial packaging. Sample job titles: Packaging Engineer, Quality Control Coordinator, Laboratory Manager, and Package Designer. Companies that hire for these positions: Coca-Cola Co., Hershey Chocolate USA, Johnson and Johnson, 3M, IBM Corp., and Amway Corp.
Horticulturefocuses on the science and art concerned with culture, marketing, and utilization of high value, intensively cultivated fruits, flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Sample job titles: Retail Manager, Landscape Designer, Entrepreneur, Florist, Contractor, Nursery Grower, and Nursery Stock Buyer. Companies that hire for these positions: Gerber, Mawby Fruit Farms, Ball Corporation, and Pan American Seed.
Forestryfocuses on the science and art of managing natural resources that occur on forest lands. Sample job titles: Forester, Forest Ranger, Consulting Forester, District Ranger, Arborist, Naturalist, Timber Buyer, and Forest Nursery Manager. Companies that hire for these positions: The Mead Corporation, John Hancock Financial Services, City Governments, and USDA Forest Service.
Food Sciencefocuses on the development of new foods, investigation of new production and processing methods, and research ways to insure a safe, nutritious and economical food supply. Sample job titles: Food Technician, Laboratory Technician, Food Chemist, and Quality Control Manager. Companies that hire for these positions: Pepsicola, Kraft/General Foods, Hygrade Food Products, Kellogg Company, General Mills, Pillsbury, and Heinz USA.
Fisheries and Wildlifefocuses on environmental management, conservation, and wildlife ecology and management. Sample job titles: Land Management Specialist, Water Quality Specialist, Habitat Specialist, and Fish Hatchery Manager. Companies that hire for these positions: US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, State and local divisions of surface water quality, land and water management, and US Fish and Wildlife Services.
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