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6 most in-demand agricultural careers

Posted 26 days ago by Rebekah Shields

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Talent in agriculture is in high demand. An aging workforce, general urbanization, and fewer young people from farming backgrounds have all contributed to a shrinking pool of workers for the industry. Below are six of the most in-demand agricultural jobs, offering the opportunity for a long and successful career for those willing to work hard and progress their careers.

Agricultural sales

This covers all individuals that are involved in selling products directly to farmers, including feed, crop nutrition, equipment, and agricultural technology. Most jobs are rural based to ensure easy access to the customer base of farmers. This could be the job for you if you enjoy interacting with people, working outdoors, and fulfilling the needs of customers. Employers range from small businesses providing a specific service or product to large agribusinesses providing a comprehensive range of agricultural products. By having a good rapport and building relationships with customers you could build a lifelong career. 

Operations manager

This covers all professionals who run an agricultural business other than a farm itself. Positions include feedlot manager, feed mill manager, grain elevator manager, etc. These careers often vary in terms of the amount of experience needed, with some positions requiring a few years of experience before reaching management level. If you’re going to succeed in this career you’ll need to be organised and possess great communication skills and problem-solving. Most positions require individuals to work with autonomy and be trusted to ensure targets are met without the direction of a supervisor. If you are well organised, love a challenge, and have the ability to run a team, this could be the career for you.

Pest/disease control

All farms, whether arable or livestock, have disease and pest control challenges that threaten farmers profits and yields. However, farmers usually only encounter specific challenges during certain times of the year, so the investment in equipment and personnel to tackle field challenges is often contracted out to specialists. Some products are also controlled by law so farmers rely on licensed contractors to address pest and disease challenges. Knowledge of the equipment and products is a must for candidates in this position, as well as good mathematical skills and attention to detail. A great perk of these positions is that they can be seasonal; many crop disease specialists have plenty of free time and opportunity for holidays in the seasonal downtime. If you have a willingness to learn about products and pest challenges and a great eye for detail, this could be the job for you.

Farm manager

The size of the average farm has doubled over the last few decades. As a result, farmers struggle to oversee the day to day operations and run the farm on their own. There are also many large corporate farms that are constantly seeking out talent to manage and improve their operations. This has increased the demand for individuals that are capable of overseeing the day to day operations of farms. There is so much demand for managerial talent in the industry that many employers are willing to take on candidates with little farming background, although industry knowledge is always a plus. Knowledge of agricultural equipment, problem-solving, great communication, and a good work ethic are the desirable skills for these positions. 

Agricultural finance

These opportunities involve working as a loan officer or relationship manager for a farm lending service or working as a credit manager or bookkeeper for an agricultural business. There are some unique tax and accounting principles that only apply to agriculture and require specific knowledge. However, there are plenty of entry-level opportunities to get a foothold in the industry and grow your career. If you prefer the comfort of the office and possess analytical skills, critical thinking, work well with numbers, and have a great eye for details this could be the career for you. 

Agronomist

An agronomist is an expert in crops with comprehensive knowledge of how to increase yields. Many of the above employment opportunities are categorised as agronomy, such as pest control and farm manager, but an agronomist is a specialist in the best methods and practices for growing crops. Farming corporations, seed companies, fertilizer producers, and chemical manufacturers are always searching for new talent to fill these positions. Some larger food companies also have roles for agronomists to work with their suppliers to optimise the output and the quality of their produce. If you have a passion for growing things and a hunger for knowledge of the science and technology that goes into the production and supply of food products, keep an eye out for agronomist job openings and look up what you need to do to prepare for a career in this in-demand agricultural industry sector. 

Salaries and compensation

A factor you may have noticed is not discussed in the above is the salaries and compensation for the roles. This is because the amount you can expect to be paid for your work varies considerably depending on the exact position, experience in a similar role, and the results you can produce. Many new agricultural graduates make the mistake of placing so much emphasis on compensation that they ignore other factors that should influence their decision. By focusing on a role with room to grow your career, you can prove yourself to be a valuable asset to any company and will be rewarded accordingly. If, in a few years down line, you find yourself in position where you have been successful in your role but don’t feel you have been adequately compensated, you will have a track record to catch the eye of potential employers and find yourself in demand from employers who are more than happy to compensate you what you feel you are worth. It’s important to seek a role where you are a good fit in terms of the management, career progression, and a company or brand with a mission you can share and get behind. Agriculture is an industry where anyone that has a strong work ethic and driven personality can progress and find themselves a rewarding career.

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the worldwide leader in recruitment for agricultural and farming positions. Take a look at our website today www.agriRS.co.uk to see what farming and agricultural jobs are available within the management sector and progress your career in the right direction. Alternatively, contact our team on 01905 345 155 or email us for more information at info@agriRS.co.uk

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