Continuing Education for Commercial Farmers

Continuing Education Courses and Job Opportunities in Commercial Farming

Commercial farming can also be referred to as agribusiness, and it focuses on the production, processing, and distribution of farm products. Students that wish to pursue a career in commercial farming can select an area of specialization ranging from crops, animal science, or agronomy. Commercial farmers make their living by caring for their animals, harvesting crops, managing farm operations, and monitoring production of products. Agricultural supervisors function as managers and may be required to train and hire staff members, coordinate service delivery, and maintain farm-related equipment.

Typical Commercial Farming Courses

Students pursuing a career in commercial farming will need to take a variety of related coursework, some of which include:

  • Introduction to Agribusiness
  • Introduction to Animal Science
  • Agribusiness Firm Management
  • Botany
  • Consumers, Producers & Markets
  • Agricultural Production Economics
  • Agricultural Market Price Analysis
  • Diary Cattle Production
  • Accounting
  • Risk Management
  • International Trade Policies
  • Commodity Futures Markets

Job Opportunities in Commercial Farming

Students that pursue an education in commercial farming may find employment opportunities in agriculture management upon completing their program. This can include positions as managers of feed mills, agricultural cooperatives, or farms. Graduates may also obtain employment as sales representatives for merchandisers of farm supplies, such as fertilizers, agricultural supplies, and farming equipment. Individuals that take classes in business or accounting may also pursue careers as agents for cooperative extensions or educators for agricultural course work. Graduates of a commercial farming program can continue to pursue their education by visiting the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers website.

Career Outlook for Commercial Farming

In recent years, the farming profession has declined. However, farmers are beginning to find greater successes in smaller niche markets that focus on providing exceptional and personalized service to their customers. Aquaculture, organic food production, and cooperatives are areas that have seen significant growth. It is expected that a demand for managers in horticulture markets will also rise in the coming years.

Average Salary in Commercial Farming

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for farmers and ranchers is $32,350. The median annual salary for farm, ranch, and other agricultural managers is $59,450. However, since many commercial farmers are self-employed, the amount of profits that make can vary. Profits can also be affected by weather conditions and changing prices of crops and products.

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