Farm and Ranch Management

Farm and ranch management is a diverse field with subspecialties related to animal science, agriculture, biology, business, financial planning and resources allocation. Read on to learn more about an education and career in this field.

Inside Farm and Ranch Management

Farm and ranch management is an interdisciplinary field of knowledge covering the skills needed to grow crops and raise livestock, as well as the skills needed to run a successful agricultural business. Farm and ranch management programs combine economics, agriculture, animal management, soil science and business administration in order to better prepare students to succeed in the world of modern agribusiness.

Educational Information

Traditionally, postsecondary education has not been a prerequisite for success in the field of farm and ranch management. Today, however, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the increasingly competitive world of agribusiness requires farmers and ranchers to stay abreast of developments in the field by completing a degree program ( In addition to secondary education, voluntary accreditation as an Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers is an option for improving career prospects (

Degree Options

Postsecondary degrees are helpful in learning the dynamics of modern farming. Below are a few articles about the educational options available in the agricultural management field.

Distance Education Options

While most agribusiness and agriculture degrees require hands-on experience in addition to coursework, many programs allow some courses to be completed online. Free online courses are available, but many do not provide college credit.

Career Information

The field of farm and ranch management encompasses a range of occupations that combine practical agricultural know-how with business and management savvy.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, overall employment in the farm and ranch management sector was expected to decline by 19% between 2012 and 2022 due to consolidation and increasing productivity of farmlands. There is room to enter the agriculture business primarily in small-scale, local and organic farming, ranching and horticulture.

The BLS reported that the median annual pay for a full-time, salaried agricultural manager in 2012 was $69,300. However, the BLS also explains that for the majority of farm and ranch managers, income varies substantially from year to year, because it is tied to both market prices and the productivity of any given farm for any given year.

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