How to Become a Farmer
Farmer Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Farmer
Salaries of Farmers
Influential Professionals in this field
Leading Organizations for Farmers
Top Cities for Farming Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Potential farmers can get a two-year or four-year degree in agriculture, or sometimes in farm management. Courses within the discipline of agriculture may include animal science, dairy science, agronomy, horticulture, agricultural economics, crop science, and fruit science, among others. Students learn about ideal growing conditions and plant diseases as well as care of livestock.
Many times, a new farmer will complete a sort of apprenticeship under a more experienced farmer, to get the experience that can only be had by being on a farm. Sometimes these apprenticeships are formal and sometimes informal, and are generally longer when an apprentice has had no formal training.
Many farmers, especially those on small family farms, are also managers. Managing a farm is a year-round job, as there is always something that needs to be done or planned for. In addition, the employees of the farm must be managed and directed. Some farmers sell their crops directly to consumers, at farmers' markets or through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce boxes. Others sell their crops to retailers which, in turn, sell them to the consumer.
Some farmers grow crops, which can be fruits (such as apples, oranges, or strawberries), vegetables (such as spinach, carrots, and chard), fibers (such as cotton), or grain (such as wheat). These farmers must prepare and till the soil, plant the seeds, cultivate and fertilize the crops, and harvest, package, and sell the crops.
Livestock farmers raise animals such as chickens, pigs, sheep, and cows. They must breed, house and feed the animals, care for them, and keep their living spaces in good repair. They are also responsible for either slaughtering the animals and selling the meat, or collecting the eggs, wool, or milk, and selling it.
Other, less common, types of farmers are farmers who grow ornamental flowers and aquaculture farmers, those who raise farmed fish.
The American Farm Bureau is an independent organization which is not government affiliated, and represents farming and ranching families. The Farm Bureau operates at both a national and local level to help farmers, especially those working on family farms.
There are, however, some counties which are good for farmers. Kent County, Maryland is the top county for farmers in the United States, with Ellis County, Kansas coming in second. In third place is Livingston County, Missouri, with Obioin County, Tennessee in fourth and Columbia County, Pennsylvania in fifth place.
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