Farm Babe: Agriculture careers stretch well beyond farmers and ranchers


What if I told you there was an industry out there that was global, dynamic, technologically challenging, noble, honorable, full of careers in high demand (especially for women), and was a vital career path with a positive impact on every single human and domesticated animal on the planet?

What sort of career comes to mind? And are you interested?

Consider a career in agriculture!

In my experience, when people think of agriculture they mainly think of farmers. Sometimes they also think of veterinarians, truckers, and staff at farmers markets. But what if I told you you could move to the Amazon and become the CEO of a palm oil company? What about Brazil? Peru?

These are the exact type of careers David Turner recruits for. David is a managing partner at Kincannon & Reed in Arizona, where they specialize and recruit for all functions within the ag, food, and bioscience space. Here they have a proprietary database with more than 200,000 names globally to try and find the right candidates.

Finding the right candidate doesn’t come without challenges. When recruiting for international careers, immigration is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Moving can be challenging with tax questions, being paid in different currencies. Also moving from friends or family, or realizing you may have to settle in to a very rural or very urban area. It all depends on what that person is looking for.

On the flip side, these careers are in very high demand. They can come with many options — opportunities to broaden your horizon, in an industry that is noble, kind, and not quite as cut-throat as say maybe finance, for example. The most successful people in these positions really seize the day with thoughtful and calculated decisions. They handle change well. Ambiguity and “working in the gray” are valuable personality traits.

Agriculture really does arguably offer one of the most amazing umbrellas of career choices in the world. From the cornfields of Iowa to the coffee plantations of Colombia, we live in a world full of technology; one full of international trade, transport, buying, selling, marketing, etc. We have major challenges to produce more food on less land with fewer resources … all while the population continues to explode and reduce the amount of farmable land across the planet.

People get cranky when they don’t have enough food. With one in seven suffering from chronic hunger around the world, there are honorable people out there working to make a difference. So whether you have a specific degree, like a bachelor’s in ag science or a doctorate in microbiology, or a very broad formal degree of some sort, people should be proud and pleased to work in a field (literally) that can change the world for the better. The opportunities are there.

So ask yourself, what is it you want to do? Maybe you’re a student trying to find the right path in ag education. Maybe you’ve been out of school for a long time but unhappy. Maybe you just need a career change or move? Many people change careers several times in their life. While an ag degree is preferred but not required, you can have all sorts of different backgrounds to be successful in this industry. When seeking an exciting new career, consider the excitement that comes with an ever-changing, important industry as feeding the world.


Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is an Iowa-based farmer, public speaker, and writer, who lives and works with her boyfriend on their farm, which consists of row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

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