Agricultural Worker

How to become an Agricultural Worker
Agricultural Worker Job Duties
Agricultural Worker Skills and Qualities
Agricultural Worker Salaries
Influential Agricultural Professionals
Leading Agriculture Organizations
Top Cities for Agricultural Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become an Agricultural Worker

Because of the diverse nature of jobs that exist under the category of "agricultural worker", the specific job itself determines the qualifications that needed to become a specific type of agricultural worker. The levels of responsibility range from very low to very high, and so do the requirements to obtain those positions.

For higher level positions that oversee agricultural facilities and the breeding of animals, a four-year degree is usually required in an area of animal science, agriculture, etc. For example, animal breeders must be knowledgeable about genetics, biology, and animal psychology as well as microbiology, chemistry, and government regulations overseeing the meat industry. Mangers and scientists that oversee the production of crop foods require similarly complex educational backgrounds. These types of positions play a part in helping keep farms and ranches profitable and keeping the country fed.

On the other hand, there are plenty of agricultural jobs that require no degrees, diplomas or training, such as agricultural laborers who do the day-to-day gardening, care and harvesting of crops.

There are also, of course, every level of responsibility and complexity in between these to ranges.

Also, some agricultural workers serve as inspectors on behalf of government and other regulatory bodies, which sometimes require four-year degrees and sometimes certifications. Others can be considered as consultants in various areas of agricultural specialty. In short, "agricultural workers" do everything associated with farms, ranches, etc. from menial labor to facility oversight.

What does an Agricultural Worker do?

Agricultural workers do everything from developing new crop species or animal hybrids, growing and maintaining crops / husbanding livestock, harvesting crops, overseeing the slaughter of animals, inspecting crop and livestock quality, and operating farm equipment.

The vast majority of workers in this broad category are agricultural laborers, who perform the majority of hands-on work on farms and agricultural facilities. These farm workers conduct pest control and administer pesticides, look to irrigation channels that keep crops watered, apply fertilizers at the appropriate times, and harvest crops by hand or machine.

Agricultural inspectors help make sure that local, state and federal regulations are being followed in the production of food, including making sure that illegal pesticides and chemicals are not being used, that animals are not being treated cruelly, that animal feed does not contain harmful materials and is suitable for livestock, and that livestock health is consistent and good.

Agricultural managers hold higher level responsibility and do not do hands-on farm work but help farms on the business end, overseeing the hiring of workers, managing worker issues and supervising workers, managing operations so harvests and slaughters happen on time, maintaining productivity levels, performing administrative and financial tasks that need doing on farms and ranches, etc.

What skills or qualites do Agricultural Workers need?

As noted above, experience and education is not always necessary to perform agricultural work, and much knowledge is gained on the job. However, a general understanding of plants and/or animals is helpful, as is the ability to work in a team, as it takes a lot of people to produce large quantities of food.

How much does Agricultural Workers make?

The pay ranges dramatically, due to the various jobs in the "agricultural worker" category. For example, in 2007 agricultural inspectors make $24,000 - $56,000 while other farm laborers make from $15,000 - $23,000.

Who are some influential Professionals in this field?

As you can imagine, there are so many people in this field, it would be hard to describe one farmer or agricultural worker as "influential". Perhaps the best place to look would be the leadership of key organizations. For example, Arturo Rodríguez is the current President of the United Farm Workers of America.

Who are some leading organizations in this space?

There are many leading organizations in this field Some of them are: National FFA Organization (formerly known as Future Farmers of America), the United Farm Workers of America, the United Farmers Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Center for Rural Affairs, the National FFA Organization, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Small Farm Program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Alternative Farming System Information Center, and the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

What are the top cities for Agricultural Jobs?

Obliviously, core agricultural and ranching centers of the US would be good places to look, including various areas in the Midwest, South and California.

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