You know that farmers play a major role in agriculture. So do the people who work at the processing facilities that turn raw farm products into other kinds of products for us to use, or the people who get those products to stores for us to buy. But there are many, many more types of careers in the agricultural field. More than 80% of all jobs in Minnesota agriculture are off the farm. You might be surprised at what kinds of jobs are involved in agriculture.
Dan Sidle, Turf Assistant at Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility
Dan has a college degree in Turfgrass Management, which can lead to many things: working at golf courses, sports arenas, parks and recreation departments, the state highway department (taking care of grass along highways), and university research, to name a few. Turf managers need a wide range of knowledge about everything from insects, turf diseases, soil sciences, biology, to chemistry.
Alexandra Larson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Alexandra is an expert on food and nutrition who works for the Midwest Dairy Council. She can tell the story of where our food comes from in addition to explaining why it’s healthy for you. But people in her field can also work in hospitals, clinics, food companies, agriculture, education, and research. Being an expert in food and nutrition, she often gives interviews to television and radio stations and newspapers to talk about healthy eating.
Lucas Sjostrom, Government and Policy Relations Manager
Lucas represents farmers and agriculture and works on their behalf in the government. He has to know a great deal about agriculture. He also needs to know things like Parliamentary Procedure, since he takes part in government proceedings. His work helps create legislation with farmers’ interest in mind. Every day is different. Emergency meetings can be called at the last minute. In his job, he’s met all of Minnesota’s federal elected officials and many presidential candidates. He’s also met actor Drew Barrymore and several Minnesota Vikings.
Erin Weller, Graphic Designer
Erin works for WinField, a company that produces products that help farmers grow crops. She creates brochures, advertising, billboards, postcards, websites, and many other different items that promote WinField products. Most of her work is done on a computer, but she gets to travel around the U.S. for conferences and meetings. She works with marketers, sales people, farmers, and advertising agencies.
So Many Ag Career Choices!
Research a career in agriculture. Choose one you did not know much about before you started researching. (Hint: Look at the careers listed in the 'Production, Processing, Distribution' activity PDF linked below.) On a separate piece of paper, write 2-3 paragraphs about that career. Talk about what the person doing that job does and why it is important for agriculture.
For more information, visit this website: https://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/usda/careers/