Careers In The Field Of Agriculture Technology
Agriculture Technology is an important branch of horticulture. Agriculture technicians play an important role in food and beverage production. The demand for ag techs, however, is not high enough to meet the supply. A number of universities and colleges have programs available specifically for those interested in starting careers in this growing industry.
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Beginning with a fundamental understanding of the principles of agriculture, students learn the practical aspects of plant science, horticultural science, nutrition, soils and fertilizers, pest control, agriculture management, tillage, forestry, plant health and development, irrigation systems, veterinary medicine, and agriculture processing. Sustainability is a major topic of interest for students of all ages. Students learn about how human activities impact our environment and the need for current and future generations. They also discover the critical link between human actions and climate change. Agriculture is a vital contributor to the health of our ecosystems. Students in the agriculture technology programs explore how our food is produced, distributed, marketed, consumed, and manufactured.
The food industry is the largest employer in the U.S. economy and the agriculture industry is no exception. Agriculture produces most of the food we eat. As America’s population ages, the demand for food will grow and the need for highly trained agricultural specialists, such as ag technicians, will also increase. Agriculture technology programs provide a solid education in the critical areas related to agricultural production and management.
Hydroponics and genetic agriculture are among the new techniques widely applied in the agriculture industry. Hydroponics is the production of crops in containers such as pools, glass jars, or plastic bags. The term was first used in the 1940s but today’s improved techniques allow for hydroponics systems to be used for indoor plant growing, outdoor crop growing, and crop rotation. Organic farmers who are able to manipulate their soil and water cycles are at the forefront of cultivating this new, precision agriculture.
Precision agriculture technology helps farmers and ranchers deal with pests, diseases, soil erosion, weather extremes, soil compaction, and wind-storm intensity. These and other challenges present unique obstacles to the consistent harvest of premium quality fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing agriculture today. Weather extremes, drought, heat waves, and floods pose a tremendous risk to the production of agriculture’s primary food products. Ag science has developed methods for addressing these issues that are specific to the geographic area of operation, such as yield management, pest control, greenhouse management, and food spoilage. Some of the precision agriculture technologies that are used in agriculture include robotic tractors, fertilizer trucks, and integrated pest management.
Hydroponics, precision agriculture technology used by many farmers and ranchers is primarily composed of three types of equipment: irrigation systems, hydroponics nutrients, and computer based control systems. Typically, hydroponic crops are grown in beds that follow the contours of the growing field. In addition to hydroponics bed preparation, nutrient management is critical to the productivity of these systems. Hydroponics nutrients include vitamins, trace elements, sugars, amino acids, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, selenium, copper, nitrates, and organic solvents. Other precision agriculture technologies include information systems, precision agriculture instruments, and hydroponics media systems.
Many agriculture industry job outlook surveys and studies indicate that the employment for precision agricultural technicians will increase approximately seventeen percent over the next ten years. This is a tremendous amount considering that the overall job outlook for workers in the agriculture sector is not expected to increase over this same period of time. However, the high tech agriculture equipment and knowledge necessary to be successful in this career can actually be utilized in numerous other positions. Due to these very high tech agriculture equipment and education opportunities, high-tech agriculture technology jobs are in high demand. In order to obtain employment in this career field, it is important to pursue advanced degrees in this industry.
Other agriculture jobs in the field of agriculture technology also exist including food producers and greenhouse managers, crop and livestock managers, chemical representatives, weed control agents, and crop and livestock analysts. All of these positions require the proper education and training in order to meet the necessary requirements for employment. Because precision agriculture technology is rapidly evolving, it is necessary for those individuals interested in entering the field to have a comprehensive understanding of all current advances. Therefore, pursuing a college degree in this field is the absolute best direction to go.