Agricultural careers offer a lot of variety: there are jobs specializing in plants and vegetables, animals, water and food production. Some jobs require extensive education in the sciences, while others can be learned on the job. There are jobs that are spent all day in a laboratory or business environment, and others that are spent mostly outdoors. The USDA offers funding and training assistance to certain agricultural career choices.
The most obvious agricultural career is being a farmer. Vegetable farmers usually own their own land on which they plant vegetables. They are responsible for preparing the land, planting the seeds, fertilizing and spraying the plants, and then harvesting them. Some sell their goods to large food manufacturers, while others operate on a smaller scale, often selling within their own communities.
Agriculture Education Teachers
Agriculture teachers usually teach during traditional school years, focusing on subjects such as forestry, horticulture, animal science, and agricultural mechanics. They also offer leadership in Future Farmers of America chapters, working with students on various aspects of agricultural activities and education.
The greenhouse manager oversees the daily operations of one or more greenhouses which house plants, flowers and other crops that need the protective covering of a greenhouse.
Horticultural scientists work for private industry, higher education institutions, and government agencies. They develop ways to make plants insect, disease and cold resistant.
Commercial beekeepers maintain beehives for providing pollination services to fruit and crop farmers. They sometimes also collect and sell honey.
Christmas Tree Farmers
It may seem like a seasonal job, but Christmas tree farmers spend the entire year growing and nurturing Christmas trees to harvest and sell at Christmas time. It takes between seven and 15 years for a tree to become ready to harvest, so farmers must be careful to plan ahead and spend the time researching the best trees to plant.
Food scientists work to maintain the nation’s food supply by developing ways to process, preserve, package and store food. They work for universities, food companies and government agencies.
Plant pathologists focus their research on the study of plant diseases. They look for ways to control and eliminate diseases that may affect the plants that we eat or use in other ways.
Poultry scientists study all things related to chickens and turkeys and other poultry and develop ways to improve breeding practices and disease prevention.
Water Quality Specialists
Nearly all agricultural endeavors depend to some extent on a healthy water supply. Water quality specialists work at waste water treatment plants, environmental agencies and in the private sector to keep the water supply safe and controlled.