Impactful Careers: Think Agriculture

"Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life." - Confucius

Developing a successful career in a field that inspires you can be an incredibly rewarding experience. If you were to design your perfect job, it would most likely include interesting, exciting work that motivates and inspires you every day.

Do you have an interest in technology, science, business, finance or communication? Do you want to help the environment, people, or produce a healthy and sustainable food supply? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, a career in agriculture might be right for you.

Agriculture has surpassed the notion of a farmer with a plow and horse. Today, science, technology and innovation are at the forefront of agriculture. Degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are becoming critical to keep abreast of the demanding challenges that will impact the world.

High Demand for Jobs in Agriculture

After spending years earning a degree, most recent graduates want to find an industry that offers plentiful opportunities for long-term success. Agriculture is one of those industries. According to Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Renewable Energy, and the Environment, a study released by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

The agricultural, food, and renewable natural resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 54,400 annual openings for individuals with baccalaureate or higher degrees in food, renewable energy, and environmental specialties between 2010 and 2015 …A shortfall of new graduates with preparation in priority business and science specialties is forecast in the latter half of the period.

With challenges ahead such as climate change and population increase, there is also an increase in demand for diverse backgrounds to help create innovative solutions.



Diverse Backgrounds, Diverse Fields

Careers in agriculture include more than working on a farm or in the lab. Students and recent graduates with almost any degree can find a place in this expanding industry. Finance, sales, marketing, communications, supply chain and information technology are all important career opportunities in agriculture. These fields may not be the first that come to mind when agriculture is mentioned, but they are all essential parts of one of the world’s most important industries.

Here are a few other examples of how you can pursue a career in agriculture:

Nick Pucci, Monsanto senior customer operations specialist, developed a successful career in agriculture over the past six years, but did not enter the industry with a history in agriculture.

“I had no idea what an ‘ag’ career was when I was in college. I knew I had a passion for people, places and food. What I found in my ag career at Monsanto is far more than I ever expected,” said Pucci.

“It has allowed me to meet people from all over the globe. I learn something new every day from talking to farmers, dealers and sales reps to better understand agriculture. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel across the US; from cotton fields in the Delta, to local coffee shops in Western Nebraska all the way to the Pacific Ocean. I owe all of these opportunities to my exciting career in the ag industry.”

Erin Ehnle combined her passion for agriculture and photography to educate consumers, and eventually started her own business.

In fact, there are many careers options available, even for people that do not enter the workforce with an agricultural background. Read more about the people of Monsanto.

Opportunity to Feed the World

By the year 2050, the world’s population is expected to increase to over nine billion people. This means there will be a greater demand for food with less land for production and a need to conserve natural resources and energy.

Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto ag youth outreach manager, has seen the impact of hunger on developing countries through her former role with the Water-Efficient Maize for Africa project and understands what working in the agricultural industry can do to improve lives.

“I wanted a career where I could bring my personal passion of helping people to my place of work every day,” said Vancil.

“It became critically important to me to become involved in an industry and work for a company that focused on helping feed people. It’s not about the nine billion people as a whole to me—it is about trying to meet the needs of each of the individuals of that nine billion. Now that I have the opportunity to work with national youth partners, like the National 4-H Council, I want to be sure to spread the word that a career in agriculture can offer the opportunity to impact lives around the world.”

Successful partnerships from both the private and public sector will contribute to making goals like this possible. Therefore, nonprofit organizations, grant writing and other philanthropic-based careers are additional options to consider within agriculture.

Working Towards an Impact

“Talented young men and women can find a home in agriculture to put their energy, ideas and passion to work to make a significant, positive impact on their world and real people,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto Company chairman and CEO, while attending the 2013 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) Conference.

The reality is that agriculture needs a variety of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to help feed our growing population.

Courtney McBay, Monsanto marketing intern, looks forward to pursing her career in agricultural communications.

“I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I was interested in a career that would make a difference,” said McBay.

“Farmers have a great impact on their local community, but they also have the opportunity to improve the lives of people globally. The people I have met in this industry are forward-thinking, and their dedication to providing solutions to complex challenges motivates me to set high standards in my career. We have to figure out how to feed nine billion people. I want to be a part of that solution.”

With over 20,000 employees across the globe with careers ranging from scientists to operations to information technology, Monsanto’s diversity is one of the key drivers to our success.

Learn more about a career at Monsanto at