What opportunities are available with a degree in agriculture?

A reader asks,

“I know some people who are going to college to study agriculture. Are they just going to be a farmer when they graduate?”

There are so many opportunities available within agriculture today. Students who are going to college to study an agricultural degree can do just about anything when they graduate whether it’s going back to the farm or ranch, becoming an agricultural educator or working for an agri-business.

Agriculture is a growing industry. The population right now is nearing 7 billion people. By 2040, experts say it will reach 9 billion people. That’s 9 billion mouths farmers and ranchers will need to feed with the same, or less, amount of resources we use today. Currently, the average age of the American farmer is 55 so it is safe to say that our country will be needing more farmers and ranchers in the near future, but it will also need more agronomists, food scientists, teachers and biochemists!

There are several schools in Nebraska, alone, that offer various degree programs related to the agriculture and food industries. These degree programs include (but are definitely not limited to!) agronomy, animal sciences, mechanized systems management and agricultural engineering, agri-business and economics, turf grass management, equine sciences and food science. In 2010, USDA estimated that the number of job openings each year that require a college degree in agriculture, food systems, renewable energy and environment will increase by 5 percent between 2010 and 2015.

So if you’re considering going to college or going back to college or even just know someone who is going to be going to college, suggest studying an agricultural degree! We can sure use you!Image

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