Unit 4 Career Options in Agriscience

Unit 4
Career Options in Agriscience
Survey the variety of career opportunities in
agriscience, observe how they are classified,
and consider how you can prepare for
careers in agriscience.
Within your notes…
• Make a list of 10 to 15 interests you
currently have in terms of a hobby or future
career interest.
• Agriscience
– All indoor and outdoor jobs relating in some way to
plants, animals, and renewable natural resources
• Fields with ties to agriscience
Banking and finance
Radio, television, and satellite communications
Engineering and design
Construction and maintenance
Research and education
Environmental protection
Plenty of Opportunities
• Current agriscience outlook
– Employed: about 21 million
– New jobs annually: about 400,000
• Impact of training
– Only 100,000 jobs are filled annually by those with
agriscience training
– About 20% of agriscience careers require college degrees
Plenty of Opportunities (cont’d.)
• Impact of training
– Many agricultural professions require four-year college
– Technical college certificates/degrees open up other
• Careers that help others
– Processing, marketing, production, natural resources,
mechanics, banking, education, writing, etc.
Plenty of Opportunities (cont’d.)
• Careers that satisfy
– Salary: dependent on qualifications
– Opportunities to develop and express skills and talents
– Career options: discuss with high school counselors
The Wheel of Fortune
• Hub: production agriculture (farming and
• Rest of the wheel: non-farm and non-ranch
careers in agriscience
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Production agriculture: accounts for onefifth of agriscience careers
– Most other professionals: provide goods and services
that flow to or from production agriculture
– Allows extremely efficient supply of goods
– Low percent of income spent on food in America
Local Individuals in the
Agriculture Field
• Make a list of 5 questions that you would
like to ask the individuals that will be
speaking with you next week concerning
their careers in agriculture.
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Agricultural processing, products, and
– Hauling, grading, processing, packaging, and marketing
commodities from production sources
– Cost of efforts consumes bulk of food dollar for cereal
and bakery products (USDA)
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Horticulture
– Producing, processing, and marketing fruits, vegetables,
and ornamental plants
– Farming enterprise: small plots
– Horticultural commodities: high-labor and high-income
– Accounts for over 110,000 jobs
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Forestry
– Growing, managing, and harvesting trees for lumber,
poles, posts, panels, pulpwood, and many other
– Career opportunities: forestry researcher, teacher, wood
technologist, wood products marketer, large machine
operator, etc.
Hot Topics in Agriscience
• A career in food science
– Combines science and agriculture career fields in the
development of new food products and processing,
packaging, distribution, and marketing of food products
– Requires creativity: designing new products
– Requires college education
– Comparably high salaries and high demand
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Renewable natural resources
– Managing wetlands, rangelands, waterways, fish, and
– Job requirements/desirables: appreciation for natural
and scientific knowledge of plants and animals; and
enjoy working in parks, on game preserves, or with
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Renewable natural resources: career outlook
– Priorities: state and regional water quality and soil
conservation efforts
– New opportunities: programs to preserve natural
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Agricultural supplies and services
– Selling supplies or providing services for people in the
agricultural industry
– Supplies: seed, feed, fertilizer, lawn equipment, farm
machinery, etc.
– Services: legal assistance, agricultural publications,
financial advice, crop advice, etc.
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Agricultural Mechanics
– Designing, operating, maintaining, servicing, selling,
and using agricultural power units, machinery,
equipment, structures, and utilities
– Venue: indoors or outdoors
– Varying roles: employee, employer, professional
The Wheel of Fortune (cont’d.)
• Agriscience professionals
– Apply the knowledge and understanding of agriscience
– Can work in any division of agriscience
– Have advanced degrees and high levels of education
and skills
• Computers in agriscience
– Applications: machinery management, farm financial
records, livestock management, farm/ranch inventory
management, precision farming, etc.
Within your notes…
• Based on the various career areas within
agricultural science we’ve discussed so far,
which area do you believe you have the
most interest in and why?
• How do you believe you could obtain a
career within that agriculture field?
Preparing for an Agriscience
• Many schools
– Emphasize career education
• Important to consider how to meet the
requirements to get started
• Agriscience teacher
– Shortage of qualified teachers
– Requirements: strong background in agriculture and
related sciences and a 4-year degree in agricultural
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Agriscience career portfolio
– Collection of best work: sell skills to a prospective
• Possible portfolio components
Resumé or vita
FFA Agriscience Scholarship application
Articles and papers (published and unpublished)
Photographs and written reports of projects
Documentation of participation in community and
public service activities
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Possible portfolio components
Personal letters and citations for services
Letters of recommendation
Personal and career goals
Action plan for goal completion
Newspaper articles, video clips, and sound bytes of
• Career area: agriscience technician or
– Technician: broadly trained in plant and animal
sciences; employable in many fields; hands-on
experience; specialized training beyond high school
– Professional: bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate-level
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Career plan while in high school
– Take agriscience and college-prep classes
– Join FFA
– Participate in leadership, citizenship, and agriscience
– Develop a broad, supervised, occupational agriscience
experience program
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Career plan while in high school
– Acquire hands-on, skill-development experiences
– Conduct an agriscience research project; enter it in the
FFA Agriscience Scholarship and Agriscience Fair
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Career plan after high school
– Obtain an agricultural job: plan ways to get on-the-job
– Take community college courses: transferable to a
college of agriculture or life sciences
– Enter a two-year technical agriculture program
– Obtain a bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctorate degree:
college of agriculture or life sciences
• Workforce skills: what skills will you bring
to your career?
– U.S. Secretary of Labor: Secretary’s Commission on
Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report
– Five competencies that students need to master
1. Resources: identifies, organizes, plans, and allocates
2. Interpersonal: works with others
3. Information: acquires and uses information
Agri-Profile (cont’d.)
• Workforce skills: what skills will you bring
to your career?
– Five competencies that students need to master
4. Systems: understands complex interrelationships
5. Technology: works with a variety of technologies
Science Connection
• When I’m twenty-something!
– Questionnaire: A Day on the Job in the Year 2025
– How well do your current career-preparation activities
mesh with your perception of yourself in the year 2025?
Preparing for an Agriscience
Career (cont’d.)
• Career assistance resources
High school agriscience teachers
High school counselors
Cooperative Extension Service
State department of education
Postsecondary institutions
Hot Topics in Agriscience
• Agriscience careers
Food technician/scientist
Environmental technician
Computer technician
Animal technician/scientist
Plant technician/scientist
Global positioning
System technician
Biotechnology engineer
Hot Topics in Agriscience
• Agriscience careers
Farm/ranch managers
Urban forester
Soil technician/scientist
Genetic engineer
Select a career you are interested
Working conditions
Beginning & ending salary
Chances for advancement
Educational requirements
Job Benefits (insurance, vacations,
retirement, etc.)