A CAREER AS A AGRONOMY PROFESSIONAL
Agronomy and Agricultural resources, by Tatianny Ferreira
Agricultural scientists study plants and soils. They use science to protect, develop, and manage these resources.
Agricultural scientists use the principles of biology, chemistry, and other sciences to solve problems in agriculture. They study:
- Soil use
Agricultural scientists study plants and soils to develop ways of improving food quantity and quality. They look for ways to improve how crops are grown. They also try to find ways to grow crops using less labor and chemicals.
Agricultural scientists try to find better, safer ways to control pests and weeds. They also study ways to conserve soil and water. They research ways of turning raw agricultural products into attractive and healthy food products for consumers.
Agricultural scientists may also work in range systems, meaning they work with livestock as well as plants and soil.
Another name for scientists who work with plants or crops is agronomists. Agronomists develop methods of growing crops with higher yields and improved characteristics. Sometimes agronomists use genetic engineering to develop crops which are resistant to pests and drought.
Agronomists identify and classify the insects that affect crops. They may research ways to develop new pesticides or other ways to keep bugs from spreading.
Career Skills and Abilities
Agricultural scientists need to:
- Read and understand work-related materials.
- Listen to others and ask questions.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Write so other people can understand.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Develop rules that group items in various ways.
- Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
Use Math and Science
- Use scientific methods to solve problems.
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
- Use math skills to solve problems.
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.
Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things
- Check how well one is learning or doing something.
- Manage the time of self and others.
Work with people
- Teach others how to do something.
- Use several methods to learn or teach new things.
- Change behavior in relation to others’ actions.
Work with things
- Analyze needs and requirements when designing products.
- Inspect and evaluate the quality of products.
Perceive and Visualize
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.
CAREER WORKING CONDITIONS
In a typical work setting, agricultural scientists:
- Have a medium level of contact with people.
- Communicate daily by telephone, e-mail, and in person. They write letters and memos, but less often.
- Regularly work as part of a team.
- Are somewhat responsible for the work performed by others.
Physical Work Conditions
- Spend time outdoors conducting research at farms, and also work indoors in the lab.
- May work indoors in areas where there isn't temperature control, such as in a barn.
- Occasionally wear protective or safety attire.
- May travel to and from work sites in a van, car, or truck.
- Must be very exact in running tests and be sure that they follow the details and complete all tasks. Otherwise, the results of the tests may be useless.
- Make decisions that impact coworkers and their company on a monthly basis.
- Make most of their decisions independently, without feedback from a superior.
- Set most of their daily tasks and goals without feedback from a supervisor.
- May work 40 hours a week in offices and laboratories.
- May work overtime when solving problems.
- May experience competition if researching new products for private companies.
- May travel to local or regional farms.
Minnesota: $49,070 to $77,310
Northwest Minnesota: $49,300 to $68,890
Seven County Mpls-St Paul: $42,850 $82,650
Southeast Minnesota: $47,000 to $60,750
Southwest Minnesota: $52,910 to $80,120
United States: $44,420 to $75,620
Employment and Outlook
CAREER PROGRAM OF STUDY- Agronomy and Crop Science
Programs in agronomy and crop science teach people the science of raising crops.
Agronomy and crop science programs include topics such as:
- Plant science
- Pest management
- Soil preparation
- Planting and harvesting
- Water management
In agronomy and crop science programs, students may be able to specialize in crop production.
Community colleges and other 2-year schools offer associate degree programs. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in agronomy and crop science. Many programs offer a major in agriculture with a concentration in agronomy. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.
Several universities offer graduate degrees in agronomy and crop science. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.
You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.
Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:
- Agriculture Science
- Environmental Science
TYPICAL COURSE WORK
This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:
- Agricultural Science
- Crop Science
- Fertilizers, Pesticides, and Herbicides
- Ornamental Plants
- Plant Pathology
- Plant Science
- Soil Science
- Water Resources
- Weed Science
Graduate study in agronomy and crop sciences typically includes:
- Required courses
- Thesis (master’s degree)
- Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
- Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)
Schools that offer this program
Schools that offer Agronomy and crop science in Minnesota
- Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
- Central Lakes College - Brainerd - Diploma
- Central Lakes College - Staples - Diploma
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Canby - Certificate, AS Associate in Science
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Granite Falls - Certificate, AS Associate in Science
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Jackson - Certificate, AS Associate in Science
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Pipestone - Certificate, AS Associate in Science
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College - Worthington - Certificate, AS Associate in Science
- Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks/Thief River Falls - Certificate
- Ridgewater College - Hutchinson - Certificate, AAS Associate of Applied Science, Diploma
- Ridgewater College - Willmar - Certificate, AAS Associate of Applied Science, Diploma
- Southwest Minnesota State University - BS Bachelor of Science
COLLEGE CHOICE- Minnesota State University
Minnesota State University, Mankato
122 Taylor Center
Mankato, MN 56001
Admissions contact for minority students:
Dean of Institutional Diversity
Education required for admission
High school education : High school diploma required and GED accepted.
Required high school courses: English 4 yers.; social science 3 years.; foreign lang. 2 years.; science 3 years. (all must have labs); mathematics 3 years.; world culture or the arts 1 year., history 1 year.
Online application available: http://www.mnsu.edu/prospective/readytoapply.html
Application fee: $20
Application fee waived: http://www.mnsu.edu/admissions/firstyear/application/firstye
Submit these items:
Application: Required for all students
College transcript: Required for some students
High school GPA: In the absence of a high school rank, GPA will be considered.
High school transcript or GED certificate: Required for all students
Letters of recommendation: None for those who meet admission requirements; 3 for those who choose to appeal on contract admission, required for some students
Written essay or personal statement: Required for some students
Other application materials: Personal statement, required for some students
Annual costs for full-time undergraduate students
(Costs are for the 2014-2015 academic year. Full-time costs are based on 30 semester credits per year.)
In-state tuition: $7,574
Out-of-state tuition: $17,811
Fees: Included in tuition above
Books and supplies: $500-$900
Other required expenses: $2,052
Explanation of required expenses: Miscellaneous/other expenses:http://www.mnsu.edu/campushub/programs/coa/1112/undergradonc
Room and board (live on campus): $7,368 for room & board per academic year (average double room) for 2012-2013.
Room and board costs may vary by housing facility and number of meals in meal plan
Applying for financial aid
Submit these forms: FAFSA/SAR
Application deadline (for fall term): March 15
Letters about aid sent to applicants: Beginning mid-April
Financial aid awarded to undergraduates (2013-2014)
Who received financial aid?
Financial aid programs at this university:
Percentage of students who live on campus: 25%
School owns or operates housing: Yes
Highest year that students are required to live on campus: Not required
Housing availability for first year students: Priority for housing
Housing options: Yes, 5 residence hall complexes-room & board or room only or board only
Housing is available for students with disabilities: Yes
Dorms require a key or code to enter: Yes, after hours and on weekends
Housing application deadline: None, housing available on a rolling basis
Application deposit: $250, $200 refundable by July 1
Fraternities or sororities offer housing: Yes
Campus housing for graduate students
School owns or operates housing for: Single graduate students
Housing availability for single graduate students: First come, first served