For some, the call of the great outdoors is constant. Some of those who hear its call choose careers as farmers, ranchers, or other agricultural managers. These workers have the privilege of managing crops and livestock, from seed to tomato, from calf to bull. For a more hands-on approach to nurturing our land and its animals, you may want to be a farmer or rancher. These professionals are often their own bosses, overseeing a family business by raising food, servicing machinery, and doing their own marketing. Meanwhile, agricultural managers are more likely to aid in food production by hiring, supervising, and budgeting for a farm or group of farms, rather than doing the demanding physical labor of farm work themselves. Agricultural managers are also more likely to work for a corporation or the remote owners of an agricultural establishment. As a farmer, rancher, or agricultural manager, you will have long hours, working from sunrise to sunset in the harvest season. If raising livestock, you will need to tend to your flock every day. Agricultural workers must truly love working with nature and animals for the level of dedication required of this occupation. While many farmer, ranchers, and other agricultural managers gain valuable experience and skills from growing up in a farming family, more and more farmers are seeking out agricultural college degrees that enhance their understanding of plant and animal diseases, weather patterns, and technological advances in pesticides and other machinery. From year to year, members of this profession often experience fluctuations in salary depending on the success of their crop and livestock. In the long-term, a decline in farming, ranching, and other agricultural managing jobs is projected as technology continues to make farming more efficient. However, no one will ever truly be able to take the ‘farmer’ out of the farm.
What they do:
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of agricultural crop or horticultural workers.
On the job, you would:
Assign duties, such as cultivation, irrigation, or harvesting of crops or plants, product packaging or grading, or equipment maintenance.
Train workers in techniques such as planting, harvesting, weeding, or insect identification and in the use of safety measures.
Confer with managers to evaluate weather or soil conditions, to develop plans or procedures, or to discuss issues such as changes in fertilizers, herbicides, or cultivating techniques.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Math and Science
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
changing what is done based on other people's actions
understanding people's reactions
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
Hearing and Speech
recognize spoken words
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Office suite software
Word processing software
high school diploma/GED or some college usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.