Food and Agricultural Business

Print Version

Area

Financial Services and Related Areas

  • Banking:
    • Commercial and personal lending
    • Branch management
    • Bank operations
  • Commodities (Stocks & Futures)

  • Insurance:
    • Sales
    • Claims analysis
    • Underwriting
    • Risk management

  • Real Estate:
    • Residential mrokerage
    • Commercial sales
    • Appraisal
    • Property management
    • Real estate portfolio management

Employers

  • Commercial banks
  • Credit unions
  • Savings and loans associations
  • Service banks
  • Mortgage banks

  • Purchasing/supply firms
  • Farm cooperative services
  • Real estate brokers
  • Agricultural commodity organizations
  • Insurance companies

  • Appraisal firms
  • Developers
  • Large corporations: real estate departments
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • Law firms

Strategies

  • Take additional courses in statistics, finance, and accounting.
  • Seek experience in financial areas through part-time employment or internships.
  • Develop strong communication skills, as many positions require interaction with others and the ability to explain information clearly and concisely.
  • Get involved in student professional associations such as the National Agrimarketing Association or other agribusiness clubs.
  • Demonstrate competence in managing money and analyzing data. Serve as a treasurer for a student organization.
  • Stay up to date on local, national, and global economic trends.
  • Research and contact major and/or local financial and banking institutions that specialize in the agricultural market.

Area

Marketing and Related Areas

  • Agricultural marketing
  • Customer relations

  • Logistics
  • Outside Sales
  • Retail Sales

Employers

  • Agribusinesses
  • Production industries
  • Food retailers and wholesalers

  • Food processors
  • Manufacturers of farm input supplies
  • Farm equipment manufacturers

  • Market analysis firms
  • Insurance firms

Strategies

  • Gain experience with retailers in the agricultural industry and other agribusinesses through internships or summer and part-time jobs.
  • Develop strong interpersonal skills and the ability to relate well with a wide variety of people.
  • Initiative, sales ability, and excellent customer service skills are also important in this area.
  • Get involved in campus organizations such as the National Agrimarketing Association and seek leadership roles.

Area

Management

  • Agricultural management
  • Crop and livestock farm management
  • Farm and home management

  • Agribusiness management
  • Land management
  • Environmental resource management

  • Operations Management
  • Retail Management

Employers

  • Agribusinesses
  • Farm input supply businesses
  • Commodity processors
  • Landscape design and maintenance firms

  • Production industries
  • Feedlot operations
  • Feed and seed companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Food wholesalers and retailers (grocery stores)

  • Farmers cooperatives
  • Gas, electric, and water distributors
  • Retailers outside of agriculture
  • Owner-operated businesses

Strategies

  • Get involved in professional organizations such as Institute of Food Technologists or International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.
  • Pursue experiences with management companies through part-time employment, internships, or co-ops.
  • Develop skills in decision-making and policy analysis along with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Stay up to date on local, national, and global economic trends.
  • Research and build contacts at management organizations that specialize in agriculture.
  • Prepare to start in entry-level management trainee positions.

Area

Agricultural Equipment Systems Management

  • Purchasing/Buying
  • Dealership management
  • Customer relations

  • Wholesale and retail sales
  • Environmental technology
  • Farm supply management

  • Logistics
  • Training

Employers

  • Agricultural support companies
  • Agricultural machinery manufacturers
  • Machinery dealerships

  • Machinery service companies
  • Landscape development and maintenance industry
  • Farm input supply businesses

  • Farm and garden supply stores
  • Wholesale distributors
  • Logistics firms

Strategies

  • Develop awareness and understanding of the farm machinery and equipment market, both nationally and internationally.
  • Research the development of basic and advanced farm and agricultural equipment.
  • Obtain retail and/or wholesale sales experience, preferably in the field of agriculture or farm supply companies.
  • Get involved in related student organizations.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills, especially for sales-related positions.

Area

Rural Development/Resource Economics 

  • Land management
  • Environmental resource management

  • Rural economic development
  • Rural planning
  • Timberland economy

  • County planning
  • Policy analysis

Employers

  • Local and state government
  • Federal government agencies:
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Bureau of Land Management

  • Gas, water, and electric distributors
  • Coal companies
  • Mining companies

  • Railroads
  • Law firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting firms

Strategies

  • Volunteer with relevant organizations to gain familiarity with rural economic issues.
  • Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Stay up to date on local, national, and global economic trends.
  • Build skills in decision-making and policy analysis.
  • Assist a faculty member with his or her research.
  • Complete an internship with a government agency.

Area

Government/Nonprofit

  • State and Federal Conservation
  • Health and Regulatory Inspection
  • Agricultural Inspection

  • Policy analysis
  • Legislation
  • Association representation

Employers

  • Local and state government
  • Federal government agencies:
    • Department of Agriculture
    • National Parks
    • Army Corps of Engineers
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Bureau of Land Management

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Advocacy groups
  • International agencies and non-governmental organizations

Strategies

  • Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Gain experience and exposure to the industry by volunteering with organizations such as 4-H.
  • Complete an internship with a government agency.
  • Maintain a high grade point average.
  • Research government application processes.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Agricultural extension

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Research institutions

  • Extension services
  • Farm information services utilizing mass communication

Strategies

  • Earn a PhD for university teaching and research.
  • Volunteer to assist a faculty member with his or her research.
  • Get involved in relevant campus activities such as tutoring, peer mentoring, etc.
  • Participate in organizations such as 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA) and seek leadership roles.
  • Gain experience working with children and adults of varying ages.
  • Prepare to live in a rural community for some extension positions.

General Information

  • Since the foundation of this degree is business and economics, students may pursue employment opportunities outside of agriculture. Consider management, sales, marketing, communications, and public relations.
  • A bachelor’s may serve as a pre-professional path for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in law, business, agribusiness management, or agricultural economics.
  • Earn a graduate degree to pursue university teaching and advanced research positions.
  • Obtain relevant experience through internships and summer or part-time jobs.
  • Get involved in relevant student organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Develop transferable skills that most employers value, such as communication skills, leadership ability, creativity, ability to work on a team, and self-motivation.
  • Prepare to live in rural and farming communities for some of the career areas and be geographically flexible.
  • Conduct informational interviews and build a professional network for exploring career opportunities and job openings.