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There are about 3.4 million farmers in the U.S., accounting for less than 2% of the national population. However, agricultural careers go well beyond farming, and almost 20 million people are employed nationwide across agriculture, food, forestry, textile, and other related industries.


Importantly, the food and agricultural sectors have changed dramatically over the past few decades – farms and our food system no longer look like they did in our grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ time. Today, agriculture is a highly technical, specialized industry, employing people with a wide range of skills and educational backgrounds. The industry needs people with diverse specialties – including many that are not traditionally thought of in relation to farming.

Here are just a few examples of careers in agriculture today:
  • Computer scientists and engineers to develop new technologies for precision and climate-smart farming – enabling farmers to produce more food sustainably

  • Biologists and chemists to develop new crop varieties, crop protection products, and solutions to fight disease outbreaks in plants and animals

  • Veterinarians to treat and prevent livestock diseases and ensure animal wellbeing

  • Environmental scientists, conservationists, and agronomists to increase agricultural sustainability

  • Business managers, accountants, and financial advisers to support agri-food companies and help farmers manage their businesses

  • Government leaders and policymakers to write and enforce laws on agricultural, environmental, and supply chain issues

  • Teachers to educate and inspire the next generation of agricultural leaders

  • Writers, graphic designers, social media managers, and artists to tell agriculture’s story to consumers

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