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November 21, 2013

Consider Agriculture for a Career

Posted by Agricen

By Brian Cornelious, PhD, Director of Applied Sciences (@BrianNPK), Agricen

Agriculture is my passion, and I like to share that passion with others, especially with young adults who are contemplating possible career choices. My grandfather and father were farmers, so I grew up with agriculture in my blood. This led me to major in agronomy in college, which I followed up by pursuing a master’s degree and PhD in plant breeding and genetics. I have been working in private industry since then.

I have frequently had the pleasure of speaking at career orientation days to junior high students. One of my first questions to any group of young people is, “What comes to your mind when you hear the word agriculture?” In agriculture-based communities, farming is often the main answer. Many children there understand that it’s an important profession and calling.

Another question I like to ask is, “What do these careers – doctor, lawyer, farmer and dentist – have in common?” The answer, of course, is that students who major in agriculture as college undergraduates can move into any of these other fields, since many of the necessary college courses, especially chemistry and biology, are relevant to all. This answer surprises some people, who perhaps don’t realize the level of scientific and technical knowledge that farmers have and use daily.

In agriculture, we are facing the growing need to produce more to meet demands for food and fuel. We need farmers, educators, researchers, and scientists to make it happen. What do your children want to be when they grow up? I encourage you to talk to them about the importance of agriculture and the many opportunities they have to make a difference in this field.


Topics: Corporate & Community