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Agribusi­ness and agri­cul­ture are two fields that can offer life­long rewards for those who choose to build a career in those areas. Agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness involve much more than just farm­ing and rais­ing cat­tle. It involves research­ing sus­tain­able farm­ing meth­ods for food pro­duc­tion as well as man­ag­ing the busi­ness prac­tices that make it all work. Both online and on-cam­pus degree pro­grams in agri­cul­tur­al sci­ence, ani­mal sci­ence, and food sci­ence will allow stu­dents to learn what they need to know to effec­tive­ly man­age all sizes of agri­cul­tur­al prod­ucts and oper­a­tions. Many uni­ver­si­ties offer a hybrid approach in which a por­tion of the program’s class­es are held in the class­room and the oth­ers are offered over an online learn­ing platform.

What Is Agribusiness Management?

Agribusi­ness man­age­ment is much like man­ag­ing any oth­er form of busi­ness. It involves mon­i­tor­ing the day-to-day busi­ness prac­tices asso­ci­at­ed with a ranch, farm, or any oth­er type of agri­cul­ture oper­a­tion. Under­stand­ing what prac­tices work and how you can imple­ment them dur­ing the dai­ly oper­a­tions of the busi­ness is what agribusi­ness man­age­ment is all about. A degree in agribusi­ness man­age­ment offers agri­cul­ture grad­u­ates all of the skills they need to bring togeth­er both man­age­ment skills and the con­cepts and prac­tices asso­ci­at­ed with agriculture.

Relat­ed pro­grams include:

  • plant sci­ence
  • soil sci­ence
  • forestry
  • hor­ti­cul­ture
  • food safe­ty
  • nat­ur­al resources
  • crop sci­ence
  • land use
  • agri­cul­tur­al technology

Career oppor­tu­ni­ties include:

  • agri­cul­tur­al sales
  • crop pro­duc­tion
  • ranch­ers
  • food safe­ty
  • agron­o­mist
  • agri­cul­tur­al consultant

Agri­cul­ture pro­grams may offer spe­cial­iza­tions and tech­ni­cal skills that pro­vide job oppor­tu­ni­ties in the agri­cul­ture indus­try, the USDA, and pri­vate industry.

Good man­age­ment involves good lead­er­ship skills. In order to be an effec­tive leader, you need to under­stand the impor­tance of being a good lis­ten­er and learn­ing how to devel­op a plan of action that involves incor­po­rat­ing ideas from every team mem­ber. Man­ag­ing any type of busi­ness involves know­ing how to ful­ly max­i­mize every resource you have to its fullest poten­tial. This includes both mate­r­i­al resources as well as human resources.

What Is the Def­i­n­i­tion of Agribusiness?

The def­i­n­i­tion of agribusi­ness is any busi­ness prac­tice that is effec­tive­ly used to man­age a farm­ing or ranch­ing oper­a­tion. Agribusi­ness also includes the busi­ness of mar­ket­ing crops and pro­duce. Farm­ing and ranch­ing are mul­ti-bil­lion dol­lar indus­tries that must be man­aged prop­er­ly if the own­er plans to turn a prof­it each year. There are sev­er­al aspects of busi­ness that is involved in the field of agri­cul­ture. From research­ing new, sus­tain­able farm­ing meth­ods to mar­ket­ing cam­paigns that help pro­duc­ers buy the right prod­ucts to make sure that their oper­a­tion runs efficiently.

Degree pro­grams that pro­vide the man­age­ment skills that are need­ed to over­see the day-to-day oper­a­tions of an agri­cul­tur­al enter­prise, be it a ranch, farm, or oth­er types of facil­i­ty. Many of these degrees are offered online as well as in the class­room so that any­one who is inter­est­ed in earn­ing their degree can jump at the oppor­tu­ni­ty. Those who are already work­ing may choose an online learn­ing plat­form so that they can con­tin­ue to earn a pay­check while they are going to school. This is espe­cial­ly ben­e­fi­cial if they have a fam­i­ly to support.

The Importance of Accreditation

Accred­i­ta­tion is the bench­mark of a qual­i­ty degree. Schools and degree pro­grams that have earned accred­i­ta­tion sta­tus have met or exceed­ed the stan­dards of the indus­try they rep­re­sent. There are two types of accred­i­ta­tion, each one being impor­tant in its own way. Many employ­ers rely on the fact that a future employ­ee’s degree pro­gram was accred­it­ed and met indus­try stan­dards. Tak­ing a close look at a stu­den­t’s resume will help them find the answers.

Accred­i­ta­tion is not a one-time deal. The accred­it­ing board must approve each school or degree on a reg­u­lar basis. This involves thor­ough­ly eval­u­at­ing the school and its pro­grams to ensure that they meet the lat­est pos­si­ble stan­dards for their par­tic­u­lar indus­try. These stan­dards change from year to year. In order to main­tain their accred­i­ta­tion sta­tus, schools must be able to prove they can pro­vide the lat­est skills and infor­ma­tion required. The same holds true for degree programs.

What Is Spe­cial­ized Accreditation?

Spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion is the process of eval­u­at­ing degree pro­grams to ensure they are as up-to-date and accu­rate as pos­si­ble. Accred­it­ed degree pro­grams have been thor­ough­ly researched by an accred­it­ing board that close­ly eval­u­ates the course mate­r­i­al that is being offered. Much like region­al accred­i­ta­tion, spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tions must be renewed on a reg­u­lar basis. Degree pro­grams can change from year to year. This means that they may require year­ly accred­i­ta­tion reviews to stay cur­rent with the accred­it­ing board­’s guidelines.

What Is Region­al Accreditation?

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion focus­es on the school itself, not the degree pro­gram. Just like spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion eval­u­ates the qual­i­ty of the degree pro­gram and the information/skills it pro­vides to each stu­dent, region­al accred­i­ta­tion eval­u­ates the school’s resources, teach­ing meth­ods, fac­ul­ty mem­bers, as well as many oth­er aspects of the edu­ca­tion­al process. The accred­i­ta­tion board strives to ensure that stu­dents receive every advan­tage pos­si­ble as they pur­sue their education.

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion is award­ed to schools that meet or exceed the stan­dards put in place by the accred­it­ing board for aca­d­e­m­ic excel­lence as well as excep­tion­al teach­ing meth­ods. This is not a long-term award. Schools must be reviewed on a reg­u­lar basis to ensure that they are con­tin­u­al­ly exhibit­ing the high­est edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards at all times. In order for a school to main­tain its accred­i­ta­tion, it must pass each review successfully.

Types of Agriculture and Agribusiness Degrees

There are sev­er­al types of agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness degree pro­grams stu­dents can enroll in, depend­ing on where they are at in their edu­ca­tion. Most degrees are offered online as well as in a class­room set­ting. This makes it eas­i­er for a stu­dent to pur­sue their edu­ca­tion­al goals. Many schools are offer­ing hybrid pro­grams that offer stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to use both types of learn­ing envi­ron­ments to their fullest advan­tage. This works well for stu­dents who want to be able to go to work before they com­plete their education.

Asso­ci­ate’s Degree

Asso­ci­ate’s degree pro­grams pro­vide the basic class­es stu­dents will need to begin their edu­ca­tion. These class­es lay the ground­work for the stu­den­t’s future edu­ca­tion, giv­ing them a sol­id foun­da­tion to build on. Most of the Math, Eng­lish, and oth­er gen­er­al­ized cours­es are includ­ed in your Asso­ci­ate’s degree, as well as many of the more basic core class­es you will need before mov­ing up to the next lev­el of your edu­ca­tion. An Asso­ci­ate’s degree will give you every­thing you need to begin your edu­ca­tion and take the first ten­ta­tive steps toward a lucra­tive career in agri­cul­ture or agribusiness.

Bach­e­lor’s Degree

Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams are the next step up after com­plet­ing your Asso­ci­ate’s degree. Enrolling in a Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram allows you to begin to learn about the core essen­tials that make up your degree pro­gram. You will begin to learn core con­cepts and tech­niques that ensure you have all of the nec­es­sary skills and knowl­edge to be a pro­fes­sion­al in your field. With a Bach­e­lor’s degree, you will be able to move up into mid-lev­el posi­tions and may actu­al­ly qual­i­fy for man­age­ment or super­vi­so­ry posi­tions if you include a few busi­ness cours­es in your degree pro­gram. Online degrees in agri­cul­ture at this lev­el are a great way to fur­ther your edu­ca­tion and your career.

Mas­ter’s Degree

Mas­ter’s degree pro­grams offer the most advanced course work for agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness stu­dents who are ready to move up to the next lev­el of their career. With a Mas­ter’s degree, stu­dents are ready to take on the more lucra­tive, deci­sion-mak­ing posi­tions. They are ready to han­dle more respon­si­bil­i­ty and are capa­ble of han­dling more dif­fi­cult and com­plex sit­u­a­tions. Stu­dents can expect to earn high­er wages and receive advance­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties that may put into upper man­age­ment roles.

Doc­tor­ate Degree

A doc­tor­ate in agri­cul­ture or agribusi­ness is ide­al for the stu­dent who is inter­est­ed in con­tin­u­ing with research relat­ed to their cho­sen field of study or for a stu­dent who is inter­est­ed in teach­ing at any lev­el. Agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness degree pro­grams are both diverse and very chal­leng­ing. Stu­dents who were raised around the indus­try can find many career options to choose from that will allow them to stay as hands-on as pos­si­ble after grad­u­a­tion. With a doc­tor­ate degree, grad­u­ates can advance to the high­est lev­els of man­age­ment and begin to work toward the type of career they will tru­ly enjoy.

Dual Degree Programs

Dual degree pro­grams are an ide­al way for stu­dents to gain the advan­tage and earn skills for both agribusi­ness and agri­cul­ture. By enrolling in both degree pro­grams, stu­dents receive the best that each has to offer. They can take their blend­ed degree pro­grams and uti­lize what they learned to sup­port their own busi­ness, or they can go to work for some­one else and assist them in reach­ing their goals when it comes to imple­ment­ing new tech­niques and con­cepts or sim­ply increas­ing their over­all prof­it mar­gin. Dual degree pro­grams not only give you the agri­cul­tur­al knowl­edge you need but also the man­age­r­i­al skills to over­see your oper­a­tion effectively.

Where Can I Get a Degree in Agriculture?

Most col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties offer some form of agri­cul­tur­al degree pro­grams. The type of degree you earn will pri­mar­i­ly be based on where you want to work and what type of agri­cul­ture you are inter­est­ed in. There are many dif­fer­ent avenues to choose from. When choos­ing where to go to earn your degree, you should first ask your­self where you want to be in five years and what type of work you hope to be doing at that time.

How to Find the Best Col­leges for Agri­cul­ture Degrees?

If you want to find the best col­leges for agri­cul­ture degree pro­grams, you need to look in areas where agri­cul­ture is promi­nent. Areas that are wide­ly known for their large agri­cul­tur­al busi­ness and pop­u­la­tion are most like­ly where you will find schools that are ded­i­cat­ed to this type of course­work. Stu­dents who choose to pur­sue a degree in agri­cul­ture or agribusi­ness can now learn from almost any loca­tion since many of the required cours­es are now avail­able through an online learn­ing plat­form. When look­ing for the best col­lege to earn an agri­cul­tur­al degree, you need to find the one that offers exact­ly what you are look­ing for in terms of con­tent, cost, and resources.

Earn­ing an Online Degree in Agriculture

With today’s advanced tech­nol­o­gy and the major­i­ty of stu­dents hold­ing full- or at least part-time jobs, many col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties are choos­ing to offer their agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness degree pro­grams over an online plat­form. This allows max­i­mum con­ve­nience for stu­dents who need to sup­port their fam­i­lies or help their fam­i­lies work the farm. With online degrees, sched­ules are flex­i­ble and stu­dents can study when it is eas­i­est for them to learn. This is also a great option for stu­dents who have trou­ble con­cen­trat­ing in a class­room full of dis­trac­tions. Enrolling in an online degree pro­gram allows stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty they need to ful­fill their edu­ca­tion and reach their goals.

Certifications and Licenses

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and licens­es are a great way to prove to employ­ers that a grad­u­ate has the qual­i­fi­ca­tions they need to be suc­cess­ful at their cho­sen posi­tion. Many states require cer­ti­fi­ca­tions or licens­es to be able to work in cer­tain posi­tions. Col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties some­times offer cer­tifi­cate pro­grams to help stu­dents pass their tests. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams are much short­er but pro­vide an abun­dance of infor­ma­tion that can sup­port a stu­den­t’s many years of expe­ri­ence. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions can be earned online or on-cam­pus depend­ing on a stu­den­t’s preference.

Earn­ing an Online Agri­cul­ture Certificate

Online agri­cul­ture or agribusi­ness cer­tifi­cates pro­vide valu­able, up-to-date infor­ma­tion that a stu­dent can use to val­i­date the expe­ri­ence they have already earned. Online cer­ti­fi­ca­tions allow stu­dents to meet any spe­cial licens­ing require­ments the state asks for before per­form­ing cer­tain tasks. Online agri­cul­ture cer­ti­fi­ca­tions can last any­where from two or three months to a year. Dur­ing this time stu­dents are able to attend class­es online and com­plete their assign­ments in their free time.

Online agri­cul­ture cer­tifi­cate pro­grams are avail­able through a large num­ber of col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties, trade schools, and com­mu­ni­ty col­leges. These pro­grams are actu­al­ly short­er ver­sions of the more advanced degrees. Stu­dents can get a con­densed ver­sion of what they need to know through a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that can be com­plet­ed in a much short­er peri­od of time. Many cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams are designed to meet the con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion require­ments that are need­ed to main­tain state licensing.

Careers in Agriculture and Agribusiness

Agribusi­ness careers will often require that the stu­dent also pos­sess lead­er­ship skills. When it comes to the busi­ness side of agri­cul­ture, becom­ing an agribusi­ness lender who works pri­mar­i­ly with large farms and agri­cul­tur­al oper­a­tions can be a very lucra­tive career. Agribusi­ness lec­tur­ers and edu­ca­tors are also in high demand, espe­cial­ly when it comes to teach­ing more advanced, sus­tain­able farm­ing meth­ods to farm and ranch owners.

Careers in agri­cul­ture run the gamut from the field to the lab­o­ra­to­ry. Agri­cul­tur­al engi­neer­ing and design help with build­ing more effi­cient farm equip­ment. Food sci­en­tists are con­stant­ly work­ing to devel­op safer ways to process and store fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles. Zool­o­gists and ani­mal hus­bandry pro­fes­sion­als work with ani­mals. They study genet­ics and work to improve the blood­lines of cat­tle and oth­er farm ani­mals. Farm man­agers also fall into this cat­e­go­ry and are extreme­ly impor­tant when it comes to main­tain­ing all sizes of farm­ing operations.

Career Path­ways in Agriculture

Career path­ways in agri­cul­ture often start with groups like FFA (Future Farm­ers of Amer­i­ca) and 4‑H. Work­ing the land and rais­ing cat­tle are the only things many stu­dents real­ly know. Life on the farm means long hours and a lot of hard work. These are often the begin­ning steps on many agri­cul­tur­al career path­ways. Those who choose to enroll in online agri­cul­tur­al and agribusi­ness degree pro­grams can use their expe­ri­ence as a youth to build a sol­id career plan. Stu­dents who have spent years on the farm already have an abun­dance of expe­ri­ence they can build on as they fur­ther their education.

Career path­ways in agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness can take any direc­tion a stu­dent choos­es. All they have to do is put in the time and effort to earn the right degree pro­gram. Stu­dents who are in line to man­age a large fam­i­ly farm­ing oper­a­tion may choose to enroll in a dual degree pro­gram. Hav­ing a degree in both agribusi­ness and agri­cul­ture can offer a stu­dent the chance to earn the man­age­ment skills they need to suc­ceed. They will know both sides of the farm­ing equa­tion rang­ing from the func­tion­al to the financial.

What Can I Do With an Agri­cul­ture Degree?

Degrees in agri­cul­ture allow you to fol­low many dif­fer­ent career paths. Many of the obvi­ous career path­ways includ­ing farm­ing, ranch­ing, deal­ing with crops/cattle, and many oth­er aspects of a mid-size to larget farm­ing oper­a­tion. Agri­cul­ture degrees also go hand in hand with many envi­ron­men­tal careers as well. Waste­water man­age­ment, envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer, agri­cul­tur­al engi­neer, and water resource spe­cial­ist are also con­sid­ered to fall into the agri­cul­tur­al cat­e­go­ry. Pur­chas­ing agents and buy­ers of prod­ucts and oth­er crops also require an in-depth knowl­edge of both agri­cul­ture and agribusiness.

These career paths can be found in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors and can be very lucra­tive depend­ing on where you are locat­ed and who you are work­ing with. Stu­dents who already have a strong back­ground when it comes to agri­cul­ture can find the degree pro­grams they need to help them advance to high­er-pay­ing posi­tions with more responsibility.

Salary for Various Agriculture/Agribusiness Careers

The salary for many agri­cul­ture posi­tions can range from mid $50,000 to close to $100,000. In fact, well-trained water resource spe­cial­ists can earn as much as $130,000 if they have the right edu­ca­tion and a few years of sol­id expe­ri­ence. Envi­ron­men­tal engi­neers and farm man­agers can make close to $90,000 per year, even more, if they have an agribusi­ness degree. Stu­dents can also explore many dif­fer­ent avenues that will result in salaries that top out at $75,000 or more if they have a sol­id edu­ca­tion to back them up.

When it comes to the salary options for agribusi­ness grad­u­ates, most career salaries can range from $50,000 to $90,000. These salaries can dra­mat­i­cal­ly increase as the per­son con­tin­ues to gain the expe­ri­ence they will need to take on more respon­si­bil­i­ty and move for­ward in their careers. Ana­lysts can make approx­i­mate­ly $85,000, while con­sul­tants and under­writ­ers fall just short of that at $81,000 and $83,000 respec­tive­ly. Agribusi­ness man­agers can make as much as $75,000 with the right edu­ca­tion and amount of expe­ri­ence. Indi­vid­u­als with dual degrees can expect to boost their earn­ing poten­tial depend­ing on the career path they choose.

Professional Organizations in Agriculture

Pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions offer resources and sup­port to farm­ers and agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness pro­fes­sion­als across the globe. Orga­ni­za­tions like these allow mem­bers to share ideas and bring about pos­i­tive change when it comes to pro­tect­ing our farm­land and the rest of the environment.

Inter­na­tion­al Food and Agribusi­ness Man­age­ment Association

The Inter­na­tion­al Food and Agribusi­ness Man­age­ment Asso­ci­a­tion is ded­i­cat­ed to help­ing agribusi­ness and food man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als across the world come togeth­er to solve many of the issues the world of agri­cul­ture is fac­ing. They work togeth­er to find solu­tions to com­plex dilem­mas that are fac­ing the world on a glob­al lev­el when it comes to agri­cul­ture and the busi­ness aspect of the field.

Food and Agri­cul­ture Organization

The Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion is a group of pro­fes­sion­als in the agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness sec­tors that help indi­vid­u­als share con­cepts and meth­ods that lead to more sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices. The orga­ni­za­tion strives to help pro­fes­sion­als with­in the indus­try learn about the lat­est prac­tices and pro­to­cols with­in their cho­sen career field. Mem­bers of the orga­ni­za­tion work togeth­er to ensure that they have every­thing they need to be successful.

Amer­i­can Farm Bureau Federation

The Amer­i­can Farm Bureau Fed­er­a­tion is one of the most well-known agriculture/agribusiness orga­ni­za­tions in the world. Local Farm Bureau co-oper­a­tives offer insur­ance pro­grams and oth­er ben­e­fits to their mem­bers. The orga­ni­za­tion is one of many that is geared toward help­ing farm­ers main­tain a pro­duc­tive and thriv­ing business.

North Amer­i­can Agri­cul­tur­al Mar­ket­ing Officials

North Amer­i­can Agri­cul­tur­al Mar­ket­ing Offi­cials is an orga­ni­za­tion that focus­es on help­ing Amer­i­can farm­ers and oth­er agri­cul­tur­al pro­fes­sion­als mar­ket their busi­ness and con­tin­ue to remain as prof­itable as pos­si­ble. The orga­ni­za­tion offers a vari­ety of mar­ket­ing meth­ods that are designed to assist farm­ers in reach­ing their goals. The mar­ket­ing con­cepts that are pro­mot­ed enhance both the agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness sides of the field giv­ing both an advantage.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness