For some, the call of the great outdoors is constant. Some of those who hear its call choose careers as farmers, ranchers, or other agricultural managers. These workers have the privilege of managing crops and livestock, from seed to tomato, from calf to bull. For a more hands-on approach to nurturing our land and its animals, you may want to be a farmer or rancher. These professionals are often their own bosses, overseeing a family business by raising food, servicing machinery, and doing their own marketing. Meanwhile, agricultural managers are more likely to aid in food production by hiring, supervising, and budgeting for a farm or group of farms, rather than doing the demanding physical labor of farm work themselves. Agricultural managers are also more likely to work for a corporation or the remote owners of an agricultural establishment. As a farmer, rancher, or agricultural manager, you will have long hours, working from sunrise to sunset in the harvest season. If raising livestock, you will need to tend to your flock every day. Agricultural workers must truly love working with nature and animals for the level of dedication required of this occupation. While many farmer, ranchers, and other agricultural managers gain valuable experience and skills from growing up in a farming family, more and more farmers are seeking out agricultural college degrees that enhance their understanding of plant and animal diseases, weather patterns, and technological advances in pesticides and other machinery. From year to year, members of this profession often experience fluctuations in salary depending on the success of their crop and livestock. In the long-term, a decline in farming, ranching, and other agricultural managing jobs is projected as technology continues to make farming more efficient. However, no one will ever truly be able to take the ‘farmer’ out of the farm.


A program that prepares individuals to manage farms, ranches, and similar enterprises. Includes instruction in applicable agricultural specialization, business management, accounting, taxation, capitalization, purchasing, government programs and regulations, operational planning and budgeting, contracts and negotiation, and estate planning.