Many kinds of agriculture careers

We are in the midst of National Ag Week, with March 25 designated as National Ag Day.

The Agriculture Council of America is the main organizer and leads the many producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities and countless others across America in recognizing and celebrating the abundance provided by American agriculture.

Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis, and is increasingly contributing to fuel and other bio-products. A few generations ago, most Americans were directly involved in or had relatives or friends involved in agricultural related endeavors. Today, that is not the case.

There is plenty to celebrate about agriculture, but today I would like to promote agricultural career options. The most obvious careers are directly related to the farm or ranch. A very small percentage of the American population is involved in traditional farming, but there are about 22 million people who work in an agricultural related fields. Today’s agriculture offers more than 200 rewarding and challenging careers.

Agricultural careers can be divided into various categories. Agribusiness management focuses on the managerial functions performed by organizations throughout the food system. Sample job titles include commodity trader, agricultural production specialist, purchasing manager, farm owner and manager and wholesale / retail buyer.

Agricultural and natural resources communications focuses on careers in journalism, public relations and advertising. Sample job titles include marketing communications manager, district sales representative, advertising manager, reporter, editor and account manager.

Agriscience provides a foundation for careers in agricultural and natural resource industries. Career titles include agriscience educator, extension educator, farmer and human resource director.

Resource development and Managementnfocuses on policy analysis, planning, evaluation, budgeting, and program management. Sample job titles include environmental analyst or planner, solid waste coordinator and water resources specialist.

Horticulture focuses on the science and art concerned with culture, marketing, and utilization of high value, intensively cultivated fruits, flowers, vegetables and ornamental plants. Job titles include retail manager, landscape designer, nursery grower and entrepreneur.

Food safety is a category that focuses 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 include food technician or chemist, laboratory technician and quality control manager.

There are other agricultural careers that I could have added. As someone who is involved in agriculture, it has been a great reminder of the 22 million people who support America’s farmers every day by doing their job. Maybe you or someone you know will choose a career in an agricultural field.

Mary Smallsreed is a member of Trumbull County Farm Bureau and grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.