Whether you are starting a career or looking to change careers agriculture has a host of opportunities. Many aren’t thought of when picturing cows and corn. While there are many that require experience there are also openings for those wanting ground floor experience. Many farms are closely watching legislation for immigration as it’s that group that they’ve often had to use as citizens aren’t interested in the jobs. There is much opportunity and if you’re sincere and do a good job. Many people are wanting out of the corporate city jungle but think as a professional there’s no work outside the city. This may well not be true at all! If you want to move your family to the country there’s many ways to do so.
Increasingly work in many agriculture jobs means a degree…but for jobs many don’t think of being “agriculture”. Recently for example on AgCareers.com was a listing for a programmer analyst – something often not thought of as being *agriculture*. The job, however, is with the largest dairy cattle breed organization in the world – and gathering, processing and recording data directs farms across the US in breeding and management decisions, goals and management. Another involved more typical of what people think of agriculture – facility maintenance, repair and operation of an Arizona ranch raising bulls, running machinery, A.I. (artificial insemination) and handling of cattle. Parts managers, farm equipment, real estate, food processing and product sales and purchasing are but a few of the myriad of choices.
If you look at agriculture with new eyes you’ll see much opportunity – the number of people involved to get the food to your table may be overlooked. Even on a farm alone people are needed to care for the cows, milking the cows, caring for the calves, growing the feed, veterinarians for health care, foot trimmers to keep cattle’s feet maintained, equipment. There are people to take the milk from the farm to the processing facility – and to make that milk into processed milk for drinking as well as cheese, butter and many other dairy products.
Agriplacement or agri-man or Agindustry are but a few places you can fill out job information and be matched, hopefully, with the ideal situation. Research a little online at places like ProgressiveFarmer or agriculture.com to get a feel for ag if you aren’t in the industry currently. Doing some homework and learning a little can pay big results. Given a choice in a computer programmer job between someone who is ok with computers but knows cows and someone who doesn’t know anything about cows but knows computers most places will go with the latter…but if a candidate walks in with computer experience and some even basic knowledge of the cattle industry chances are good that candidate will be chosen over either of the others.
Remember agriculture encompasses not just livestock, corn and soybeans! There’s smaller parts of the industry that still need workers! Sugar production, fruit production and processing, fish farming, biotech, ecology and many other things are also part of modern agriculture. With the increased interest in ethanol and biodiesel there’s many jobs there.
Elsewhere here on this site I’ve another article on working in the horse industry – some of the reality is applicable in agriculture. There are long hours, for some jobs not the best of pay and perhaps some of even the higher paying jobs aren’t as much as you can get elsewhere. Being agriculture some labor laws that apply to most jobs don’t for farms and agriculture. It’s not unheard of to have 6-7 day jobs – especially with livestock as they need fed every day. Your benefits might be 401k and could be insurance but often is more likely to be beef, housing and/or milk (fresh from the bulk tank!).
Reliable employees with a good work ethic are needed in agriculture. Consider an ag job for your life change move or as a career from the beginning.