Agricultural Economist Job Description
An agricultural economist is person who applies economic and financial principles to farm management, agricultural trade, and natural resource use and management. Their job involves conducting research to gather and examine the agricultural data of an area so as to identify trends and make predictions for the agricultural market of that area.
An agricultural economist should be curious, observant, logical, analytical and methodical to explore agricultural economic events and develop accurate forecasts. They should also be able to communicate effectively and tolerate people who think differently from them.
What does an agricultural economist do?
Agricultural economists may do some or all of the following:
- design and develop agricultural surveys
- analyze and interpret data from the survey
- identify agricultural economic trends and develop forecasts
- apply economic theories and practices to agriculture
- develop marketing plans for agricultural products
- give advice and recommendations on agricultural economic policy issues
- write reports, make presentations and give speeches
- stay up to date with development in the agricultural industry
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does an agricultural economist work?
Places of work for agricultural economists include:
- Food and agribusiness firms
- Financial institutions
- Government agencies
- Academic institutions
Agricultural economists usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They work in offices, classrooms, and on agricultural fields.
What is Required to Become an agricultural economist?
To become an agricultural economist, you will need a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, or bachelor’s degree in economics with an advanced degree in agriculture.
Secondary school students interested in studying agricultural economics should take preparatory subjects such as mathematics, economics, accounting, agric science and computer science.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Crop Production and Management
- Principles of Accounting
- Rural Sociology
- Food Security and Agricultural Policy
- Farm Managementt
- Agricultural Marketing
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Agricultural economists need to have:
- humility and confidence
- honesty and dependability
- good memory
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- observational skills
- time-management and organizational skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- math and computer skills
- sales and marketing skills
- leadership skills
- the ability to work well independently and as part of a team
- the ability to stay up to date with current events
- the ability to identify problems, predict outcomes and evaluate policies
- the ability to work well under pressure
- knowledge of agricultural systems and techniques
- knowledge of economic methods and theories
- knowledge of agricultural business management
Should I be an agricultural economist?
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