Can Your Degree Get You A Career In Agriculture?

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From the vast wheat fields of the western prairies to the summer fruit harvests of BC’s Okanagan Valley, Agriculture is one of Canada’s strongest industries.

Canada is a renowned international leader in Agriculture, especially in the areas of job creation, environmental sustainability and technological advancements. But Agriculture is about more than cowboys and pickup trucks.

Here are some egg-citing Agricultural careers that you may not have known you could get with your degree.

A Science degree

Were Chemistry and Biology your top subjects in high school? Egg-cellent! A degree in Science can get you a job in the large field of Agronomy, which is the science and technology of both producing and using plants for food, fuel, and land reclamation.

If you’re looking for a career with impact, this is a great profession to pursue. Agronomists are often responsible for the important task of selectively breeding of plants in order to yield the best crops under various conditions. In addition, soil science – another aspect of Agronomy – involves studying and creating sustainable ways to make soils more productive and profitable.

A Business degree

Many farmers and ranchers learn their trade while growing up on their family farm. However, increasingly larger farm operations are looking for Managers with post-secondary Business experience. In this role, business grads would be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of farms, including crops and livestock.

Another potential career path for business-minded individuals is as a Grain and Livestock Buyer. A Buyer’s main priority is to manage supplies for farm operations, which is no small task. From seeds to cattle, Buyers ensure farms have the essentials they need to operate smoothly.

You might also be surprised to know that Marketing and Sales comprise over ten percent of all jobs in Agriculture! For example, Sales and Marketing Ambassadors promote and drive the sale of farm equipment and products. They cultivate leads by acting as spokespeople at events and trade shows as well as other outreach. Lastly, they manage and grow relationships with current clients, as well as build relationships with new customers.

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A Biotechnology degree

Biotechnology plays an important role in the production of food by extending and expediting the development of desired characteristics in plants. Usually research and development of new crops is completed in a lab before field testing is conducted, and biotechnologists are the ones responsible for this kind of work.

Increasingly, this field is becoming applicable to more than just food. For example, oilseeds that are used in the production of margarine and other foods is being modified to produce fatty acids for detergents, petrochemicals, and fuels.

A Political Science degree

Though you may not think of it while you are walking down the grocery aisle, a huge amount of governance goes into the foods we consume. Therefore, if you have a background in Politics or Economics, you might have a future as an Agricultural Policy Advisor.

These professionals oversee legislation governing the areas of Agriculture production, farming income, research and development, inspection, and the regulation of animals and plants. They manage all submissions including policy analysis, advocacy groups, policy papers, consultation, and government relations. They also have to be incredible diplomats, managing stakeholder relations throughout the Agricultural sector, government, and community at large.

A Biology degree

Insects and animals are a huge threat and concern in Agriculture, so biology majors are in high demand.

For example, students could apply their education to a role as a Pest Control Advisor – they’re responsible for ensuring that pests, diseases, soil moisture and nutrition, and plant maturity levels are all adequately monitored and reported on. They also keep Agricultural employers accountable to the health and safety of consumers by ensuring they abide by  all government pesticide regulations.

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An Engineering degree

There is a vast amount of opportunity available for engineers in the Agricultural sector – from soil and water conservation to housing for large hog operations. For instance, Agricultural Engineers plan, design, and oversee the building of irrigation and draining for farms as well as flood and water-control systems. They also design and evaluate farm equipment that is used throughout the entire production cycle.

As the Agricultural industry shifts towards green technology, there are also a lot of exciting opportunities available for Engineers interested in sustainable development. Engineers in this sector help create new ways to produce food and fibres for consumers, design innovative new structures and systems, and develop new technologies and management practices that aim to protect environmental resources.

Want to learn more about the Agriculture Industry? Check out our Career Guide!

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