There are a few different undergraduate degree options in agriculture. The most popular ones among students are the Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science and the Bachelor’s in General Agriculture. These programs will give you a good grounding in soil science, animal nutrition, farm management principles, farm technology, agricultural research methods, livestock rearing methods, crop yield management, ranching and horticultural techniques, etc.
The 4-year Bachelor’s in General Agriculture degree equips students with the knowledge and practical skills needed for entry-level jobs in the field. On the other hand, the Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science program can open up career paths in food science, agricultural research and agribusiness among other areas.
This guide includes all the relevant details for both programs. If you want to make a career in the vast and exciting field of agriculture, then it is a must-read for you.
What Is Agriculture?
Simply put, agriculture is the art and science of rearing livestock and cultivating plants/crops. As a field of work and study, agriculture revolves around cultivating land and raising animals as well as planting, growing and harvesting food crops. It is a constantly growing field in the United States with employment opportunities set to increase significantly in the coming years.
What Careers Can You Pursue with a Bachelor’s in Agriculture?
Obtaining either a Bachelor’s in General Agriculture or a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science can open up many possibilities for you. The former can help you pursue careers in crop farming, cattle ranching, farm management, agricultural research, agricultural equipment sales, livestock rearing and environmental consultancy, etc.
With the latter, you can pursue occupations like microbiologist, conservationist, agricultural analyst, food marketing expert, food scientist, agricultural engineer, etc. Below are recent salary figures for some of the major occupations that you can pursue after completing any of the two agricultural degrees mentioned.
Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers
Farmers, Ranchers and other Agricultural Managers take care of farms, ranches and similar entities that produce different food crops and breed livestock.
Annual Median Salary, 2019: $71,160
Annual Mean Salary, 2019: $80,360
Predicted Growth Rate, 2018-2028: -1% (Very little Change Expected)
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: Minnesota - $103,700
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California - 1,490
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians help experienced Food and Agricultural Scientists carry out different day-to-day tasks as well as in-depth research activities.
Annual Median Salary, 2019: $41,230
Annual Mean Salary, 2019: $44,440
Predicted Growth Rate, 2018-2028: 6%
State with the Highest Salary, 2019: South Carolina - $56,160
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019: California - 4,170
Note: These figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What to Expect from an Agriculture Degree Program?
A Bachelor’s in General Agriculture and a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science will give you detailed theoretical and practical knowledge about Agriculture Basics, Animal and Poultry Science, Soil Management, Soil Ecosystem, Agricultural Engineering and Marketing, Agribusiness Management, GPS and Precision Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture, Statistical Research Methods, Animal Nutrition and Wildlife Conservation, Agricultural Law and Ethics, Agricultural Markets and Pricing Mechanisms, etc.
How to Choose an Agriculture Program?
When making a decision on which undergraduate agriculture degree program to enroll in, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The most important ones are curriculum, program duration, total cost of the degree, choices of major/specialization and school location, etc.
Make sure you do thorough research on all available programs before picking one. Your chosen school and degree program should be in sync with your career goals. Pay special attention to things like accreditation, graduation requirements, types of final projects offered and the kind of employment opportunities that you can hope to tap into. The University of Florida, Cornell University, University of Georgia and the Michigan State University are some good options for pursuing an undergraduate qualification in agriculture.
Bachelor’s in Agriculture Admission Requirements
The requirements for admission are likely to vary depending on individual institutions. To get into a Bachelor’s in General Agriculture, you should have a High School Diploma or the equivalent GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. On the other hand, getting into the Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science program will require standardized test scores, a minimum GPA (as mandated by a particular institution) and strong foundations in mathematics as well as communication studies.