Student presenting in a New Marketing Agricultural Economics class.

In the field or in public service, agricultural economists apply economic concepts and problem-solving skills to effectively and efficiently manage farm, environmental and commercial decisions. Agricultural Economics is for students interested in improving food production and processing, developing agricultural policy, helping rural communities preserve and develop their economic strengths, or protecting our natural resources. The solid foundation of economic skills and agricultural knowledge acquired prepared students for any number of careers, including Policy Analysis, Farm and Ranch Management, Resource Economics and Management, and Business. In Policy Analysis, Agricultural economists often are employed by environmental groups, government agencies, commodity organizations and media to interpret how agricultural policies affect various interest groups. These policies include all aspects of agriculture, from water and soil use to technology adoption to international trade patterns. Such policies affect all of us through food and energy prices, the quality of our water and air, product development, and international trade and negotiations. In Farm and Ranch Management, to compete in today’s market, farmers and ranchers need strong entrepreneurial, financial and business skills. With an agricultural economics degree, farmers can better analyze market conditions and prepare their businesses accordingly. Such skills also are beneficial in other careers, such as banking, estate planning, real estate appraising, seed and feed sales and commodity marketing. In Resource Economics and Management, agricultural economists make decisions that are both economically and ecologically sound, helping communities develop and implement policies for environmental protection, advise food processors about ground water protection, or lobby Congress for an environmental group. In Business, careers include grain merchandiser, sales representative, production manager or marketing consultant. Agriculture economists promote commodities for farm organizations, develop marketing programs for food companies, or forecast prices and demand. Students can also complete all course work necessary to become a certified financial planner.

Photo by Kyle Spradley, CAFNR Marketing and Communications