Agricultural Economists are Economists who focus on the aspect of Agriculture. They can also be Agriculturists who focus on the impact on Agriculture on the Economy. Whichever way, they are generally concerned about having the Agriculture secure have a good impact on the economy of the nation.
These professionals are usually involved in various parts of agriculture. They write reports, present reports, and also assist in creating policies on the agricultural sector. Also, they are given to research and personal development on marketing, technology, finance and other aspects. Their goal is to ensure maximum profit in this sector for the benefit of the nation and her economy.
In addition, Agricultural Economists can work in seven different aspects which are as follows:
- Agricultural Environmental Economics.
Here, Agricultural Economists ensure that the works of agriculture are favorable to the environment and nature in general.
- Agricultural Development.
In this aspect, these professionals involve themselves in ensuring government positive involvement in the agric sector.
- Agricultural Policy.
Agricultural Economists also assist in developing policies for the agricultural sector of the country.
- Operational Research.
Agricultural Economists in this aspect concern themselves with ensuring that all that farmers do are in line with the nation’s policies.
- Production Economy.
In this aspect, these professionals ensure that labor is efficient and that farmers makes good use of inputs in all aspects. This is to enable them make maximum profit at the end of the cycle.
- Financial Management.
Here, how the entire sector runs financially is the concern of Agricultural Economists. They ensure that farmers in the sector do not spend unnecessarily to the point that it becomes difficult to make profit.
- Agricultural Marketing.
In this aspect, prices are their concern. They ensure that sales are at a rate where Agriculturists can make profit.
Furthermore, the profession is broad as Agricultural Economists can work in various settings. They should also have a Master’s or Doctorate in Economics, of course with an undergraduate course in the field of Agriculture.
Responsibilities of an Agricultural Economist.
The duties and responsibilities of Agricultural Economists are as follows:
- Training and teaching students in the same field.
- Assisting in creating and developing policies for the agricultural sector.
- Helping the agricultural sector develop and be beneficial to the nation at large.
- Importantly, researching on ways to boost production and maximize profit.
- Helping the Agric sector gain more from less inputs and not to the detriment of the society.
- Helping to ensure a friendly relationship between the Agricultural sector and the environment.
- Making research on market needs and advising agriculturists accordingly.
- Writing and documenting reports periodically.
Qualifications for practice as an Agricultural Economist
To be able to practice as an Agricultural Economist in the United States, the following are necessary.
- Firstly, a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, or Agricultural Science or a related field.
- Secondly, a Master’s Degree in Economics or Agro-Economics.
- Thirdly, a Doctorate in Economics.
Other needed skills include:
- Mathematical skills.
- Critical thinking skills.
- Good communication skills.
- Public speaking skills.
- Statistic skills.
- Good documentation skills.
- Interpersonal relations.
- Research skills.
- Management skills, among others.
Furthermore, Agricultural Economists find relevance in various aspects. He or she can gain employment to work in the following places:
- Commercial manufacturing companies.
- Agricultural boards and agencies.
- Insurance companies.
- They can also be self-employed.
Agricultural Economists work both on site and off sites. They have offices for documentation and research works and also work on the farms, both food and livestock farms sometimes. Also, their job can require them to travel from time to time. Depending on the aspect they focus on, their job can also require working directly with the government and making reports.
The exact number of hours they work per week is dependent on the sector they work in. However, they are full time staff.
In the United States, Agricultural Economists earn an average salary of $77,612 per year. This can be more or less depending on the sector of practice. Moreover, those that are self employed can make much more if they work on a large scale. Most importantly, the educational qualification goes a long way in affecting one’s pay.
Agricultural Economists are wonderful set of professionals. They stand as a link between Agriculture and the government, the market, the society and nation at large. Furthermore, they have many functions which are importantly targeted at maximizing profit in the agric sector and aiding the growth of tbe nations economy.
One with interest in Ecomonics can choose to specialize in this aspect. It is interesting and also offers a lot of opportunities.