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The Florida Agriculture Industry: What Types of Jobs are Available?

March 14, 2011

Guest Post: Brian Jenkins, BrainTrack

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in 2008 Florida had 47,500 commercial farms, using 9.25 million acres to produce a variety of food products. Florida ranked first in the nation in the value of production of a number of agricultural products, some of which include oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, squash, watermelons, sugarcane for sugar and seed, sweet corn, fresh market tomatoes, fresh market snap beans, and fresh market cucumbers. More than 140 countries imported Florida agricultural commodities in ’08.

Due to Florida’s thriving agricultural sector, there are a great deal of jobs within the field. Below are some of the interesting jobs in Florida’s agriculture industry that require college degrees. These job descriptions primarily focus on the agricultural opportunities for each career. 

Agronomist

Agronomists are involved with field crops and soil management. They develop new varieties of crops, investigate soil chemistry, and study the physical aspects of water movement in soil. They work for crop management companies and perform research in all segments of the food industry.

Weed Scientist

In production agriculture, weed scientists generally work as crop consultants or managers. Some weed scientists are involved with weed laws, whereas others deal with the regulation of biological and chemical control agents. Many of them work for agricultural chemical companies.

Biosystems Engineer

Biosystems engineers are part of a rapidly growing field. They design, manufacture, analyze, and manage biological systems and products. Some of them work in food and bioprocessing. They design products to produce human foods, to control greenhouse environments, and to control tissue growth for new biological products.

Botanist

Botanists study all plant life. Some botanists produce entire plants from single cells using a technique known as tissue culture. Some of them use biotechnology to develop new plants. These folks usually work in the nursery or greenhouse business.

Soil Scientist

Soil Scientists work to map and classify soils. They perform research on the movements of substances such as nutrients and pesticides through the soil profile. Soil scientists are also involved in identifying problems like erosion and wetness that can limit the use of soil.

Geneticist

Plant breeders or geneticists strive to improve the efficiency of production and quality of food and fiber products. They develop improved varieties of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grapes, and other plants. They may be employed by either private corporations, state and federal government agencies, or universities.

Entomologist

Some entomologists help farmers produce crops more efficiently by using sound pest management strategies and by preventing the spread of serious diseases in plants. They work in numerous segments of agribusiness. They also work for international, federal, state, and local agencies.

Agricultural Engineer

Those working as agricultural engineers design facilities and machinery and also come up with solutions to engineering problems. Some of the main employers are builders of farmsteads, storage facilities, and commercial buildings; manufacturers of irrigation and drainage system; makers of agricultural machinery; and local, state, and federal research regulatory and educational agencies.

Horticulturist

These days horticulture is more than garden plant culture. Horticulturists are involved with plant propagation, crop production, plant physiology, plant breeding, plant biochemistry, and the storage, processing, and transit of fruits, nuts, berries, flowers, and vegetables. They strive to improve crop yield, nutritional value, quality, and resistance to diseases, insects, and environmental stresses. They also make plants more adaptable to various soils and climates and better fits for food processes and uses.

The thriving Florida agriculture industry offers a number of interesting jobs. Plenty of opportunities exist for those who are interested!

Brian Jenkins, a member of the BrainTrack writing team, is an expert on a number of career and education topics.

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