Should I Become a Farm Marketer?
|Degree Level||High school diploma, associate's degree, bachelor's degree|
|Degree Fields||Agricultural business, accounting, marketing|
|Key Skills||Sales, customer service, and logistical skills; staying current on market trends|
|Salary||$66,790 (2015 median for sales representatives, such as farm marketers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2015)
A farm marketer is better known as an agricultural marketer. In the modern world of farming, farmers usually sell their products to distributors, such as grocery stores and food manufactures. So, farm marketers promote and sell farm products to distributors. such products may include, for example, grain, milk, corn, and poultry. Farm marketing involves developing marketing plans aimed at distributors, as well as their customers, and setting sales goals based on national trends and local conditions.
Professionals in the purchasing industry generally need a bachelor's degree. Since this is not an entry-level position, a farm marketer will need several years experience working in the industry before being hired or promoted to this position. So, how much can you potentially earn in this career? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales representatives, such as farm marketers, earned an average salary of $66,790 as of May 2015.
Now let's walk through the steps toward becoming a farm marketer.
Step 1: Earn an Undergraduate Degree
Although some entry-level positions with smaller companies may require only a high school diploma or its equivalent along with extensive experience in farming, most farming companies require their marketers to have a bachelor's degree. These professionals typically major in marketing, agriculture, agricultural business, or another closely related field. Courses in agricultural business cover topics such as farm management, agricultural economics, agricultural product marketing, and agricultural law. Some agricultural business degree programs also include logistics or distribution planning courses in which aspiring farm marketers can learn how to plan out product shipping routes and schedules.
Step 2: Gain Professional Experience
According to August 2016 job listings, farm marketers need several years of experience in the industry and at least one year of experience in business-to-business sales. Job postings also indicate that employers prefer applicants who have experience in sales, customer service, and logistics planning. Customer service and sales skills are often obtainable by working in customer service or sales positions, which are common at retail stores, small businesses, and call centers.
Step 3: Complete On-The-Job Training
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in the purchasing industry, such as farm marketers, often have to complete in-house training. Each business has its own training program, and workers may spend several years in training. During this time, employees have the opportunity to learn about a company's standards, operations, and practices. They may also learn how to use company-specific software, fill out forms, and communicate with clients and suppliers.
Step 4: Study Market Trends
Farm marketers are required to keep up with legal changes and other trends that affect the market. They must communicate with their clients and vendors to learn about issues affecting them, such as crop growth or product delays. They also need to be aware of laws that can affect the production and sale of agricultural goods. One way to keep up with industry trends and regulatory changes is by regularly attending professional trade conferences.
Step 5: Advance Your Career
Experienced farm marketers who continue to gain professional experience in the industry can advance their careers by promotion to management positions at larger companies. Once a solid reputation is established with farmers, a farm marketer may also choose to start their own firm.
To become a farm marketer, also called an agricultural marketer, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a field related to agricultural business, as well as several years of experience in the farming industry and at least one year of experience in business-to-business sales.