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List of Agriculture Careers

Agricultural career options go well beyond farming and ranching. If you love the idea of working with crops, animals and resources that contribute to the worldwide food supply, pursuing a career in agriculture could provide you with a rewarding and fulfilling future.

Agriculture is big business. The industry has been around for thousands of years and, according to AgDay, approximately 22 million Americans are involved in agriculture-related industries. There are so many career possibilities, that it's easier to segment career choices by field, rather than specific jobs.

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. Common job titles include:


  • Market news reporter
  • Farm news reporter
  • Public relations representative
  • Advertising specialist
  • Marketing communications manager
  • Regional sales manager
  • Account manager

While most of these positions will require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business, journalism or a related field, you may be able to pursue sales jobs with limited formal education.

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. Common job titles include:


  • Grain broker
  • Farm and land appraiser
  • Resource economist consultant
  • Agricultural policy analyst
  • Insurance agent
  • Food distribution manager
  • Agricultural lender

Many of the agricultural economics positions require a degree in business, finance or economics, but you may be able to work your way up in some positions, like that of insurance agent, with apprenticeships and training courses.

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. Common jobs include:


  • Education specialist
  • Education supervisor
  • Farm management
  • Soil conservationist
  • Extension advisor

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. Consider the following opportunities:


  • Structural engineer
  • Irrigation engineer
  • Sanitary/waste handling
  • Food engineer
  • Bioprocessing engineer
  • Machine design engineer

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. Opportunities include:


  • Crop specialist
  • Soil scientist
  • Fertilizer sales representative
  • Plant breeder
  • Plant geneticist
  • Soil conservationist
  • Soil surveyor
  • Farm supply representative

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. Consider the following job possibilities:


  • Livestock production manager
  • Feed sales/management
  • Livestock procurement
  • Livestock insurance representative
  • Veterinarian
  • Farm management
  • Stable management
  • Livestock feedlot operator
  • Ranch/farm hand
  • Animal scientist
  • Animal geneticist

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. Roles include:


  • Food product research and development
  • Quality assurance
  • Food chemist
  • Food microbiologist
  • Food manufacturing
  • Food researcher

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.

If you're not quite ready to commit to a particular college or career field, see if there are farms, ranches, stables, feed supply stores or agricultural sales companies that would be willing to take on an apprentice, intern or part-time employee. Working within these areas of agriculture could help you pinpoint the field that you're most interested in while also helping you earn a living. These are also good opportunities to pursue during the summer while receiving your degree because they show future employers that you've gained hands-on experience in a professional setting.

A Colorado Ranch Is Being Transformed Into a 'Land Library'

A traditional library offers books that can transport readers to different worlds. A land library does the opposite: Instead of containing a broad scope of reading material, it's limited to books about the land just beyond its walls.

That's the model followed by the Rocky Mountain Land Library in Colorado, a project recently profiled by CityLab. At the Land Library, artists, writers, researchers, and anyone else interested in the area can come to enjoy immersive retreats. Inside the buildings they'll find beds, dining facilities, and about 35,000 books on the culture, landscapes, and wildlife of the American West. If guests wish to further their education on the subject, all they have to do is walk outside and explore the sprawling former cattle ranch the lodge is built on.

The library's founders, Jeff Lee and Ann Martin, came up with the idea after visiting a library-hostel hybrid in Wales. As employees of the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, they were both excited by the thought of creating a library that connected travelers to where they were staying.

After finding the perfect ranch to launch their experiment and raising money for renovations via Kickstarter, Lee and Martin are now in the process of preparing the property for visitors. The first building—which will include bedrooms, a kitchen, a classroom, and the start of the library—is set to be finished by the summer of 2018. Until then, Lee and Martin are using the space to host summer workshops for people coming to Colorado in search of inspiration.

Hygge, a concept related to the warm, contented feeling of being indoors during wintertime, originated in Denmark. But Scotland has made it clear that Danes don’t have a monopoly on coziness. As The Scotsman reports, VisitScotland—the country's national tourism agency—is reviving Cosagach, an old Gaelic term that could unseat the hygge trend this season.

Cosagach, like hygge, is the sensation you get when you’re snug, sheltered, and cozy. According to VisitScotland, Scotland is a popular destination for tourists looking to unwind, and the organization predicts that Cosagach will be a hot trend with visitors in 2018.

“It’s no secret that Scotland can have, at times, rather harsh and ferocious weather,” the trend forecast from the company’s insight department [PDF] notes. “In the winter when the storms rage and the waves crash against the rocks, there is nothing more satisfying than being curled up in front of the fire, book and hot toddy in hand, listening to the weather outside.”

However, you don’t need to be under a blanket at home to properly experience Cosagach. The comforting feeling can be found almost anywhere—at a restaurant, ski resort, or, in true Scottish tradition, a pub. And though it is a great antidote to winter blues, VisitScotland emphasizes that it’s not exclusive to any one season.

Even if you aren’t planning a trip to Scotland in the near future, there are ways to incorporate Cosagach into your routine. Try repurposing some of the activities associated with hygge—just don’t tell your Scottish friends where you got your inspiration.

Between steep fares and crowded terminals, flying during the holidays isn’t fun. But on Friday, December 15, a special Alaska Airlines promotion will ease boarding stress and transform packed planes into mile-high ugly sweater parties, in honor of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the airline will offer free early boarding to travelers willing to don their holiday worst at the airport.

The promotion is good for all Alaska Airlines flights in the airline’s 115-city network, and for flights offered by Virgin America and Horizon Air (both of which are operated by Alaska Airlines). In addition to escaping the waiting crowds, passengers who share the most festive knitted looks will be featured on Alaska Air's social media pages if they tag their photos and videos using the hashtags #UglySweaterDay and #MostWestCoast. And since no plane aisle-turned-catwalk is complete without a soundtrack, “festive holiday-themed boarding music will play all month long to help get guests into the holiday spirit,” according to a press release.

Worried you’ll be the only person on the plane wearing a sequined Rudolph cardigan? Even if other passengers don’t get the memo, airline crew will also be wearing ugly sweaters—so feel free to unleash your inner Chevy Chase from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

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