What Is Agricultural Business?
Agricultural business, also known as agribusiness, is the farming, management, production and marketing of agricultural commodities, such as livestock and crops. The agricultural business field includes resource management, farming, conservation, ranching and sales. As technology has progressed and markets have become increasingly global, agricultural business has developed to meet and solve high-tech farming needs and problems. Schools offering Feeding The Family degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Agricultural Business Defined
Modern farming, including raising crops for food and fuel, and raising animals for food, wool and more, is a complex industry. As farmers learn to compete and remain viable in a global marketplace, they draw upon business principles and a complex network of agriculture and business professionals. This includes taking advantage of new advances in farming, such as bioengineering, mechanization and new breeding practices, deciding how to sell crops, whether locally or on a commodities exchange, and managing and insuring land in the most profitable manner. As an agricultural business professional, you might work in any of these areas, either as a farmer or as a business professional supporting farmers.
Agricultural Business vs. Agribusiness
While the term agricultural business is sometimes shortened to agribusiness, it is worth noting that agribusiness can sometimes have a different meaning. Large organizations that purchase crops or other farming products from farmers are often referred to as agribusinesses, and it is these agribusinesses who produce the products you see in grocery stores.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that it has become increasingly important to have an associate or bachelor's degree to become an agricultural business professional, especially a farmer, farm manager or ranch manager (www.bls.gov). These degrees can help prepare you for a variety of career options in the fields of insurance, banking and financing, land and livestock appraisals, farming equipment sales, marketing, farm management and agricultural law.
Associate degree programs often give you the option to specialize in a particular facet of agricultural business, whether it's crop management, horticulture, animal science or technology. These degrees are offered as Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences, Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees, and many are designed specifically for transfer to a bachelor's degree program. Some degree programs are designed to prepare you to enter the agricultural business field immediately upon graduation.
Bachelor's degree programs in agricultural business and agricultural business management prepare you to handle the business side of farming. In these programs, you will take courses on topics such as marketing, finance, microeconomics, accounting, management and agricultural policy. In addition to learning about the business of agriculture, you'll have the opportunity to apply your skills in the real world through internships and study abroad programs. To further these real-world skills, some schools offer a chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association, which keeps its members up-to-date in agricultural business and marketing.
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