Preparing the Next Generation of Ag Leaders

Between 2015 and 2020, job openings in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment sectors are expected to reach nearly 60,000. As these employment opportunities grow, so does the need for qualified and passionate college graduates who have studied these fields.

Let’s take a look at the importance of agriculture-related professionals and how today’s students can feel prepared to step into these exciting career opportunities.

Preparing for College

High school agriculture education has gained popularity across the country. Ag curriculum has become more project-oriented, technologically advanced and hands-on, giving students a better idea of what it is like to be a leader wherever your career may take you. The curriculum has begun to focus more on growing concerns and issues such as sustainability, resources, and the development of rural communities.

Students are learning that agriculture is involved in everything. From what you eat, to what you wear, to the buildings you live and study in. Career opportunities are diverse, and there’s a path for every interest.

Ag Fields of Study

If you are a college student pursuing agriculture-related fields of study, you have numerous options ahead of you. Depending on your school’s specific offerings, you’ll be able to pursue majors such as;

  • Agribusiness
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Education
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agricultural Journalism
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science
  • Crop and Soils
  • Forestry
  • Horticulture
  • Life Sciences
  • Plant Breeding
  • Veterinary Medicine

But ag experience is not limited to the classroom. If possible, join agriculture-centered groups on campus. Study abroad to get field experience. Attend career fairs to explore what career options sound most appealing to you. Talk with professors and professionals in those intriguing fields. There are numerous ways to get a feel for jobs before you actually enter the workforce — take advantage of those opportunities available to you!

Potential Career Paths for Ag Majors

Not every student has a set plan for life after graduation, and that’s okay. But also remember that ag-related careers are not always in the field — the world always in need of smart and driven ag leaders in all sectors!

Students studying agricultural science will be prepared for a variety of careers within this growing industry, including:

  • Agricultural policy analyst
  • Crop specialist
  • Education specialist
  • Food chemist
  • Public relations representative
  • Structural engineer
  • Veterinarian

Changing the Future of Agriculture

Tomorrow’s ag leaders have the opportunity to greatly impact the future of our global economy. And the more we can support these students in their endeavors, the more we will benefit from their expertise and passion.

Each year, the Bayer Fund sponsors America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders grants for students considering a career in agriculture. In 2019, 352 scholarships totaling more than $500,000 will be awarded across the country to high school and college students studying ag.

Check back in May for the list of 2019 recipients. Are you a student who is interested in applying for a scholarship this fall? Take a look at a few frequently asked questions to learn more about the Grow Ag Leaders program.