Effort and resources go into ensuring that everyone has enough food to eat. The fantastic array of fruits, vegetables and other food products available to consumers are a result of the efforts of farmers and agricultural producers. They work long hours planning, planting, growing and harvesting agricultural products.
Education for Agricultural Producers
Every state university system features a school of agriculture or a land-grant college that helps you gain the knowledge necessary to keep up with the growing complexity of the agriculture business. In the past, when agricultural production was less complicated, producers would gain skills and experience by working on a farm instead of attending classes. More agricultural producers now obtain a bachelor's degree, adding a concentration of agriculture, agronomy, farm management or plant breeding to a business degree. This way, they learn the essentials about growing conditions, crops and plant diseases.
Training and Certification
The more education you have in agriculture, the less training required to get you up to speed with the business of production. A few farms offer apprenticeships for young people interested in farming, providing aspiring agricultural producers with practical experience. People without any farm training may apply to programs sponsored by the government, such as the Beginner Farmer and Rancher Competitive Grants Programs, which arrange training with experienced farmers. If you have a bachelor's degree and four years of experience, you can apply for farm manager accreditation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Agriculture Producer Duties
As an agricultural product producer, you're responsible for all aspects of crop growing, such as seeding, feeding and reaping what you sow. This includes the planning of crops according to market conditions, weather patterns, government subsidies and soil condition. Agricultural producers also purchase supplies and equipment necessary for success. You may have to repair farm machinery to make sure cultivation and harvest proceed smoothly, in addition to fixing things like fences, pipes or hoses. The business duties of agricultural producers revolve around sales and maintaining accurate records of production, financial and employee records.
Work Environment and Job Outlook
The creation of agricultural products tends to be an intensely physical job using powerful farm machinery. You need to stay alert to avoid serious injury. The work schedule for this occupation features long hours, especially during growing seasons that require you to work sunrise to sunset. The industry continues to evolve toward needing fewer people to grow more product, resulting in fewer employment opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a decline in employment of 19 percent for farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers between 2012 and 2022.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Farmer, Rancher, or Other Agricultural Manager
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers: Work Environment
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers: Job Outlook
Kent Tukeli has been writing for business and media organizations since 2007, including Valnet Inc., Top Affiliate Publishing and Mirvish Productions. He honed his skills at the University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.