Agricultural Consultants


Education and Training Requirements

High School

You should follow your high school's college preparatory program and take courses in English, government, foreign language, and history. Also, be sure to take courses in mathematics and the sciences, particularly biology and physics. Computer science courses will also be beneficial. Take any economics courses available, along with accounting and business classes, as agricultural consultants are actively involved in farm management.

Postsecondary Training

To do this work, you'll need a bachelor's degree with a major in agriculture or economics. If you hope to join the on-campus staff at your state's agricultural college, you'll need at least a master's degree. College courses usually required for this work include English, history, chemistry, biology, economics, education, sociology, and speech, as well as animal science, crop production, horticulture, soils, and farm management. A number of colleges have developed regular agricultural extension curriculums to be followed by those hoping to enter the field.

After finishing college, county agents are kept up to date on the latest programs, policies, and teaching techniques through in-service training programs run by state agricultural colleges and the Department of Agriculture.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for agricultural consultants.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Aspiring agribusiness consultants should obtain as much experience (volunteering, internships, employment) as possible in agriculture and business to prepare for the field.

You'll need a background of practical farming experience and a thorough knowledge of the types of problems confronting farmers, members of rural communities, and their families. Farmers naturally feel more comfortable seeking advice from people whom they feel have a complete understanding of their work.

You must be a good teacher and should enjoy working with people. You must also be assertive, yet diplomatic, and have a particular affinity for farmers and their problems. In addition, you will be expected to organize group projects, meetings, and broad educational programs that both adults and young people involved in agriculture will find stimulating and useful. You will need the professional interest and enthusiasm that will enable you to keep up with the huge amount of new agricultural information constantly being released. You must be willing to learn and use the latest teaching techniques and technologies to disseminate current agricultural practices and knowledge to local residents.