Become a Farm Management Advisor: Education and Career Roadmap

Explore the education and experience requirements for farm management advisors, and learn about the duties and roles these advisors play in assisting farm owners with agricultural issues. View article »

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  • 0:04 What is a Farm…
  • 0:42 Career Requirements
  • 1:13 Step 1: Obtain High…
  • 1:35 Step 2: Earn A…
  • 2:06 Step 3: Earn A Master's Degree
  • 2:34 Step 4: Further Opportunities

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Video Transcript

What Is a Farm Management Advisor?

Farm management advisors instruct farm owners on agricultural issues. They might help with specific issues facing a farm or provide general instruction on sales, equipment, product development, crop harvesting and food storage.

Farm management advisors teach and communicate with a variety of people, and they should have an understanding of economic and business principles. They might collect data, prepare visual aids, lecture for agricultural organizations, recruit volunteers and participate in local events, such as county fairs.

Career Requirement

So, what are the career requirements for this job? Potential farm management advisors must:

Degree Level Bachelor's and master's degrees
Degree Field Agricultural science and related fields
Key Skills Communication skills, ability to communicate with farm personnel, data collection skills, understanding of economic and business principles
Salary $49,190 per year (Median salary for farm and home management advisors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2015)

Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma

To prepare for postsecondary studies, high school students should take available classes that emphasize science, leadership and communications. Future farm management advisors might also participate in relevant extracurricular activities, such as 4-H club.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Farm management advisors usually need at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant area to gain employment. Degrees in agricultural science and related topics are available. Programs may offer specialization in areas such as animal science, soil science or business. Students can take advantage of any relevant internships or jobs on local farms to gain work experience while they're attending college.

Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree

A master's degree provides further training and may be necessary to work with a cooperative extension agency. Master's degree programs are available in agriculture, agricultural education, natural resources and other related fields. Some degrees may be available online. Master's students might focus on issues such as crop production and protection, communications, international food development or landscape management.

Step 4: Further Opportunities

The highest levels of employment for this profession are found with colleges, local government and consulting services. Individuals working for a government-funded cooperative extension program might be called extension agents and are sometimes employed through a local college.

Other opportunities are available. A farm management advisor working as a consultant might move into a position of leadership within a firm or go into business as a self-employed, independent consultant. Experienced advisors might choose to specialize in a particular area of farm management. Since opportunities for advancement in the consulting industry are best for those with higher levels of education, farm management advisors might choose to pursue a doctoral degree or other specific training.

Farm management advisors assist farm owners in agricultural issues and processes, must earn at least a bachelor's degree, have strong communication skills and possess a deep understanding of economic and business principles. Experienced advisors may specialize in particular areas of farm management, become self-employed consultants or earn doctoral degrees for more advancement opportunities.

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