The four-year Bachelor's in General Agriculture degree program teaches you the practical skills needed for an entry-level job in the agricultural industry. You'll be able to tailor the program to your area of interest through elective classes in related subjects such as livestock management or marketing. This program may also include a capstone course in which you'll gain on-the-job project management experience. For admission into the program, schools require that you have earned a high school diploma or GED.
Bachelor of Science
In addition to general education courses in composition, humanities and the life sciences, you'll learn skills in business and agricultural management. Programs cover multiple subjects pertaining to agriculture such as livestock or crop management, as well as courses in the following topics:
- Animal and poultry science
- Soil science and management
- Agricultural marketing and engineering
- Sustainable agriculture
- Wildlife conservation and animal nutrition
- Agriculture law and ethics
Popular Career Options
The agricultural industry offers a diverse range of career options, which consists of production agriculture, farming, research, and product development. After graduating, you'll be prepared for a variety of careers within the agricultural industry, including the following popular choices:
- Cattle rancher or crop farmer
- Agricultural science research technician
- Farm equipment sales
- Farm manager
- Animal breeder
- Environmental consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers can expect job opportunities to decline by 2% from 2014 to 2024. Farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers earned a median annual salary of $64,170 as of May 2015. Agricultural workers, which includes animal breeders; crop, nursery, and greenhouse laborers; and farm workers can all expect a job decline of 6% from 2014 to 2024. In May 2015, the BLS reported median annual salaries of $20,090 for crop, nursery, and greenhouse laborers and farm workers, $29,830 for other agricultural workers, and $39,380 for animal breeders. Agricultural and food scientist technicians could expect an increase in jobs of 5%, which is about as fast as average compared to other occupations, from 2014 to 2024, and as of May 2015 they earned a median annual salary of $36,480 the BLS reported.
Continuing Education Information
If you're interested in continuing your studies to pursue a senior level position or because you want to teach in higher education, you may choose to enroll in a master's degree program in agriculture. In addition, if you choose to specialize in agricultural management, you can improve your employability and demonstrate professional competence through voluntary certification. The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) offers several different certification options; you must have several years of experience in farm management or consulting, a bachelor's degree in agriculture, and pass a qualification exam to earn certification.
Bachelor's in general agriculture can be applied to many different careers, such as crop farmer, agricultural science research technician, or environmental consultant.