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Agricultural Business Management

Agricultural business management programs teach business practices for improving the farm industry. Read on for more about this career field. Get the details about career prospects, salary and the education required for employment.

Is Agricultural Business Management for Me?

Career Overview

Agricultural business management is the use of business fundamentals to improve the agricultural industry and farm production. Agricultural business management, also called agribusiness management, applies business theories and practices to the agricultural industry to lower costs, boost profits and ensure that farm or food products are grown and distributed effectively.

Specializations

Agricultural business management is a diverse academic discipline that can lead you to a wide variety of career options depending upon your degree level and skills. Graduates of agribusiness management degree programs typically seek management, marketing or finance positions in the agricultural industry. You could qualify for positions such as business manager, financial analyst, commodities broker and livestock manager.

With an education in agricultural business management you could work in government, education, natural resources management or at financial institutions. Private industry would be another career choice for you at energy or biofuels companies and firms selling food products, farm machinery, seed, livestock feed and pesticides. Other jobs you might pursue include loan officer, agribusiness consultant, agriculture inspector, farming program manager, compliance analyst, production supervisor, sales associate and lobbyist.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted job opportunities for financial analysts would increase 16% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Most financial analysts earned between $48,100 and $152,420 yearly as of May 2013, the BLS said.

You could also pursue work as an agricultural manager, who oversees the daily operations at a farm or agricultural site on behalf of farmers, companies or landlords. Small agricultural operations might employ only a single manager, but large operations might employ several managers overseeing specialized areas, like business or marketing.

The BLS stated that most agricultural managers earned between $33,840 and $119,530 as of May 2013. According to the BLS, job opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers are expected to decline by 19% between 2012 and 2022, mostly due to rising costs of running a farm.

How Can I Work in Agricultural Business Management?

Education Programs

An education in agricultural business management will teach you how to make informed decisions regarding production, marketing and personnel. You can find associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in agricultural business management at colleges and universities. Some degree programs in business management include an emphasis on agricultural business.

Courses of Study

As an agricultural business management major, you'd learn to apply business fundamentals, such as marketing, management and accounting, to areas like food systems, biotechnology and natural resources management. Agribusiness management degree programs typically include technological and agricultural science coursework so you understand how advances there impact the farming industry. You can expect to study courses in agricultural marketplaces, economics, pricing, federal farm policy, sales, computers, soil conservation, plant and animal science, ethics and entrepreneurship.