We tend to think of agriculture as a monolithic sector, but it’s made up of many different types of businesses. And these businesses are varied and unique based on the individuals who run them, as well as where they operate.
The agricultural industry is made up of over 3 million farms and ranches in the United States, with most of those properties belonging to people who work in the field. But there are also many people working in other parts of the agricultural sector that aren’t on farms or ranching operations either.
What does this mean for you? It means that you might not see a lot of direct action from the agricultural industry when you walk down the street. However, it still affects you every day because a lot of what we eat comes from an agricultural standpoint — even if we don’t realize it!
So if someone asks you, is basic industries a good career path? If it’s agriculture, you may be certain it is. So what does an individual role look like in an agricultural business? Read on to learn more about some common positions found across this industry:
This position is the most basic one in agriculture and can be found in a diverse number of settings. A farm hand might work on a general farm or ranch, in greenhouses, on a fruit or vegetable farm, or even at an animal facility.
They might also find themselves working for a large agribusiness. Farm hands are often employed seasonally and are responsible for tasks like feeding livestock and cleaning pens.
A farm hand may not have any formal education necessary for their job, but they do need to be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects up to 50 pounds without getting tired. In addition, they need to be able to work independently and be comfortable with animals.
A farm manager is a person in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of an agricultural business.
Someone who manages a farm or ranch has many responsibilities that include supervising employees, keeping track of financial expenses, and ensuring the safety and health of workers on their property.
The duties may vary depending on the size and type of operation, but they usually involve managing the day-to-day details that keep the business running smoothly.
Plant operators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a farm, ranch, or greenhouse. They handle everything from planting crops to harvesting them. They oversee the production and sales of the crop, as well as any other related tasks. Plant operators work in all types of agricultural settings and can be employed by companies or individuals.
Animal Breeder or Handler
Animal Breeder or Handler If you love working with animals and want to work with them instead of against them, then this is the position for you. They show quality animals for sale in a controlled environment. These individuals work with the animal’s genetics, behavior, and health, as well as the commercial market. This occupation requires knowledge of breeding processes and genetic pools, as well as animal husbandry practices.
Responsibilities: Breed and maintain quality livestock in a controlled environment, care for both domestic and farm animals, and maintain records of all related activities
Salesperson or Repairer
A salesperson or a repairer are key parts of the agricultural business, and they usually work in an office at a company that services farms or ranchers. They take orders from customers, maintain customer relationships, and make sure the company is fulfilling the needs of the customers. One way this happens is through phone calls with customers.
The repairer or salesperson might have to call their customers back for follow-up questions about orders or deliveries, or if there are any issues with plants that need to be fixed. Another way these people interact with their customers is by getting feedback on how satisfied they are. This can happen in many different ways, including through surveys sent out through email, phone calls, and social media messages.
Research Technician or Scientist
Research technicians and scientists conduct research in the field and in the lab. These professionals often need a bachelor’s degree or higher, specialized training, and experience in their fields for success.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Conducting experiments to test hypotheses about plant growth, production, crop yield, nutrient use efficiency, pest management, and more.
- Collecting data with high-resolution cameras or ground sensors to make models using computer software.
- Managing equipment used in the lab or field that measures physical properties such as temperature, moisture level, pH levels, soil quality, and nutrient content.
- Analyzing information collected through lab techs like plant growth rate and water consumption with statistical software.
You’ll Find in the Agricultural Industry In many cases, those who work in an agricultural business may be the owner. This is sometimes the case because of a family inheritance or because the person has put enough money into their business to make it possible. In other cases, someone may start a new business with their own money and then decide to hire employees later.
Another common role that you might find in agricultural businesses is that of the farmer. Many people think of farmers as just people who grow crops, but they also could be animal-breeding facilities or even owners of big farms with thousands of acres! The job of the farmer can vary based on what type of facility they operate and what type of crops they grow — which can include everything from strawberries to corn to cattle!
The last common position that you might find working with agricultural businesses is for someone who works as a landman or woman. A land man or woman is an individual that helps promote agriculture by leasing farmland and building distribution networks for companies like Cargill, Tyson Foods, and Perdue Farms.
They create relationships between producers and buyers in order to make sure there are constant flows of food available for sale.
What You Should Know Before Getting Started In The Agricultural Industry
When you think of the agricultural industry, what comes to mind? You might think of working on a farm or ranching operation, or perhaps you imagine yourself working in the meat industry. But there are many different types of positions within the agricultural business that can be found in other areas, too.
That said, the agricultural industry is vast and expansive. The United States agricultural sector employs over 3 million people and contributes $1 trillion to our economy. The work done by these individuals includes everything from raising livestock to growing crops to processing food products. So if you’re interested in learning more about this industry and getting started in it (or already are!), this article is for you! Let’s explore some of the most common positions found across this sector: