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Careers for Agriculture Majors


Study Agriculture

Careers for agriculture majors are varied, and may include working with the land, sea, forests, animals, labs and humans. As an international student looking for a job in agriculture, you will have to decide first if you want to work with humans, animals or the land. Next, you will need to determine if they want to work for a private/nonprofit organization or governmental agency. These decisions will make it much easier to find the perfect fit for you.

When it comes to careers for agriculture majors, international students can find themselves working daily with the land, sea, forests, animals, labs and humans. The options are limitless! Once you’ve narrowed down the field within agriculture you’d like to pursue, the next step is deciding where. Whether government agencies sound like a good fit, or perhaps a non-profit organization, we will explore what career options exist and if they may be right for you.

Working With Humans

Working with humans can mean being a teacher, nutritionist, or a financial planner for farmers. All of these careers for agricultural majors require a great deal of human interaction. If you are interested in becoming a teacher, international students can explore a range of options from teaching at the elementary, middle, high school or even college level. Teacher positions can also be found at a private school, zoo,park or even museum in the education outreach programs.

A nutritionist works with animal nutrition, food nutrition, public health nutrition and nutrition science. In general, a nutritionist studies how food affects the health of humans and animals. Nutritionists work in schools, hospitals, universities, public health, private practices or governmental organizations.

Farmers have assets consisting of cash, land and equipment. A financial planner for farmers can help them with managing their cash. Examples could be: retirement planning, setting financial goals, decreasing debt, increasing savings and establishing an estate plan which would involve all their assets of cash, land and equipment.

Working With Animals

Working with animals can mean working as a farmer, dairy manager, or veterinarian, just to name a few. With any of these careers, you will need to be able to interact with both animals and humans.

International students who go into farming can expect to raise animals, grow crops, sell products and maintain buildings and equipment. For example, a dairy manager monitors the animals’ care, assigns feeding and cleaning of animals to others, studies the milk production records to determine the feed formulas and for breeding, and trains workers in animal care.

A veterinarian is a doctor who specializes in treating small and large animals. They can examine animals, diagnose an animal’s condition and treat them for these conditions.

Working With the Land

Working with the land may be something that international students may not have thought would be a job in agriculture. Working with the land can mean working on a golf course, national sport fields, growing crops, working in labs developing pest management products, horticulturalist, and even working at theme parks.

Private/Nonprofit Organizations vs. Government Agencies

An international student graduating with a degree in agriculture should decide if they want to work for a private/nonprofit organization or government agencies.

Within a private/nonprofit organization, there are a number of agricultural careers for international students. This could include working as a technical advisor, animal breeder, golf course landscaper, writer, program officer, researcher, trail builder, community nutritionist or natural resource manager to name a few. Educational institutions are also under the private and nonprofit organizations list of careers for agricultural majors.

One specific example of a job in agriculture with a private/nonprofit organization could be working with a program called Agriculture in the Classroom. Agriculture in the Classroom, also known as Ag in the Classroom, is a partnership with teachers—this includes formal teachers, non formal teachers and home school settings. The mission is to inspire young people to plant, nurture, appreciate and understand the value of agriculture.

Government agencies include the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There is a Department of Agriculture in most, if not all, countries in the world. An international student could work for GAFSP. GAFSP stands for Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. This program helps countries all over the world improve the quality and quantity of food production. Pledges made by the G20 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania assist in the implementation of agriculture in countries of need. This started in September 2009. The GAFSP objective is to, “address the underfunding of country and regional agriculture and food security strategic investment plans already being developed by countries in consultation with donors and other stakeholders at the country-level”.

An international student choosing a career in agriculture has decisions to make as to what aspect they want to work with: humans, animals or the land. Then they will want to choose if they want to work for themselves, private/nonprofit organization or government agencies. By making these decisions, then they can work in a job in agriculture that fits them the best.

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