The farming industry provides a wide range of avenues for leadership. Agriculture leadership careers may include management of a large-scale agribusiness, advocacy on public policy issues impacting farmers, stewardship of professional farmer associations, work through agriculture non-profit groups, administration of an agricultural education program, and more.
Areas of Agriculture Leadership
Completing the agriculture leadership portion of an agricultural education provides one with the skills and knowledge to work in a wide range of professional contexts in agriculture, natural resources, land use, and more. A career in agricultural leadership could take one into any of the following professional areas:
- Human Resources
- Organizational Training
- Policy Development
- Community Development
For a broader look at careers and opportunities in the agriculture industry, take a look at Agricultural Education Areas of Focus.
Government agencies, public services, non-profit organizations, and corporate enterprises with involvement in U.S. agriculture and natural resource management seek out prospective employees possessing basic agricultural education and training as well as organizational leadership skills and advanced knowledge in certain areas of specialization. Depending on the given combination of skill sets, an individual with comprehensive agriculture leadership development training would qualify for employment in any of these professional contexts:
- Food Retailers
- Agribusiness Firms
- Farm Machinery Manufacturers
- Nonprofit organizations
- Youth agricultural education institutions
- Agriculture Trade Associations
- Consulting Firms
- Federal Government Agencies (U.S.D.A., Forestry Services, etc.)
For a look at other key agencies, groups, and organizations in the industry, jump to our list of noteworthy Agriculture Education Organizations.
Tips for Advancing an Agriculture Leadership Career
Those interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in agriculture should consider the following steps first:
- Choose an area of interest. Agriculture leadership development training can lead to a wide range of opportunities in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Decide where to apply your skills.
- Get a degree or certification. Leading in the agriculture sector increasingly demands the kind of 21st Century Skills acquired in an agriculture leadership degree or certification program.
- Get involved. Join a student association, connect with educational leaders in the field, and observe professionals in action.
- Learn how to both collaborate and lead. Employ team-building skills while delegating, decision-making, and motivating others.
- Refine communication skills. Writing and speaking skills are increasingly essential for leaders in various aspects of agriculture.
For a look at the broader educational requirements for those pursuing a degree or certificate in agriculture, check out the education, training, and leadership development components that comprise an Agricultural Education Curriculum.