Today’s farming and food production industries are diverse fields with a variety of career opportunities available. Farmers operate farms that produce crops, livestock and dairy products. Typical tasks include all steps of the crop production process, including planting, fertilizing, harvesting and herding. They determine how to raise crops or livestock by evaluating market conditions, soil conditions and more.
Jackson College Offers the following program options:
Education is critical for success of the 21st century farmer. In today’s agricultural world, farmers need to be experts on plants and animals, as well as computer literate, mechanically inclined, savvy in business, legal minded, and knowledgeable about politics and world events. A high school diploma is a minimum; further college education is greatly recommended. An associate degree or bachelor’s degree is recommended. Jackson College offers an associate in applied science in agricultural technology. The program prepares students for work in the various sectors of the agri-food industry, including agricultural production (plant or livestock), precision farming, agri-business and finance, pest management, soil or other conversation management, and food processing.
- Agricultural Technology – today’s agricultural producers are, first and foremost, entrepreneurs. Working in agriculture requires knowledge not only of the latest techniques for raising crops and farm animals but also how to operate a successful business. Farmers may serve as sales agents for their production areas, and record financial, tax, production and employee information.
- Increasingly, agricultural producers contract with large business operations, called agribusinesses. These businesses purchase the agricultural commodities and produce the food that goes on grocery store shelves, provide necessary services, educate the community and more. Agricultural-related job opportunities may exist for sales and marketing, purchasing agents, education, public relations, tourism and more.
Salaries vary depending on specific job.
- Farmers and agricultural managers start at about $33,110 annually, and the median wage is $64,170
- Agricultural workers earn a median wage of $20,090 annually
- Buyers and purchasing agents, farm products $56,270 median
Demand is expected to be strong for those with a degree in agriculture. A strong background in business and management will be a plus.