Careers in agriculture

The agricultural industry provides a variety of opportunities to professionals interested in this often misunderstood field.

According to the employment resource AGCareers.com, more than 250 career profiles are available to people interested in a career in agriculture. And while jobs in agriculture may not be as prevalent as they were a few centuries ago, when 72 percent of the workforce was employed in farm occupations in the United States, agriculture remains a booming industry that greatly affects the nation's economy. Today, one in 12 American jobs is depends on agriculture, according to the career resource Payscale.

The following are some potential professions for those considering careers in agriculture.

• Agricultural business manager: This person oversees the business operations of a farm by providing organization and leadership during the production process. He or she contacts creditors, selects seeds, buys new equipment, and ensures the distribution of product.

• Agricultural lawyer: Attorneys who specialize in agriculture deal with water and environmental issues, represent agricultural labor in disputes, ensure proper marketing techniques are followed, handle real estate and land use issues, and much more.

• Animal control officer: These officers enforce local and regional laws that pertain to the treatment and care of animals. They patrol for distressed animals and ensure cruelty-free practices are adhered to.

• Grain buyer: Grain buyers build relationships with producers so they can purchase grain for their particular companies. They negotiate purchase agreements, source grain supplies and issue purchase orders.

• Poultry hatchery manager: Hatchery managers oversee all of the aspects involved in poultry hatching. These can include management of personnel, handling and sorting of eggs, maintenance of equipment, coordination of pick-ups and deliveries, and overseeing quality control.

• Soil scientist: Among the many tasks they might perform, scientists in the field of agriculture test soil samples for minerals and contaminants. By studying the soil, scientists can recommend which crops the land can support, how much livestock can feed in an area and the implications of agriculture on the area as it pertains to managing natural resources.

A career in agriculture presents many exciting opportunities in a number of different applications. It's a vast industry that utilizes professionals with an array of skillsets.

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