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General Agriculture Overview

If you enjoy working outdoors to maintain crops and livestock, a degree in General Agriculture might be for you.

While working towards this degree, you will take a wide array of classes. You will learn how to grow and maintain crops through the use of machinery and physical labor along with the environmental, scientific, and political issues around feeding the general population. Since agriculture is such a wide major, many schools often require students to narrow their area of study and focus on a specific section of agriculture. Possible areas of focus include horticulture, agricultural economics, entomology, and animal science.

Required Skills

Those who pursue a career in agriculture enjoy working outdoors and getting their hands dirty. Agriculture is a physically strenuous job and can require long hours. It often does not follow the typical 40-hour work week. Employers are looking for hard workers who are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to ensure a successful harvest. You will be required to work directly with the different crops or animals and implement different techniques for growing and harvesting food.

This field will require knowledge of heavy machinery used in farming along with the ability to perform physical, labor-intensive tasks. A science background would be beneficial to understand the properties of crops and how they interact with certain chemicals. If you plan on working with livestock, you must have a background in animal science.

Since many jobs in agriculture come with on-the-job training, a degree is not always necessary. However, if you plan to work as an animal breeder or with livestock, employers will require either extensive experience and training or a degree. Before deciding on a career in agriculture, it is best to experience the career through a summer job, internship, Co-op or work abroad program.


A degree in Agriculture will provide you with a wide array of skills to perform the tasks necessary to ensure the successful operation of a farm. Agricultural workers will work directly with livestock or crops under the guidance of the agricultural manager. You will operate the necessary machinery to plant, grow, and harvest crops while working with others to ensure all tasks are performed successfully and efficiently.

Graduates with a degree in Agriculture average $36,161 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $62,142.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in General Agriculture might open up.

Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary
Animal Scientists
Food Scientists and Technologists
Soil and Plant Scientists
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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