Farmers and ranchers live in a close connection with the cycle of seasons, the earth and its creatures.
Growing crops and raising livestock is a profession as old as civilization itself. Yet modern farming methods, and the global marketplace, have transformed the process. So let go of stereotypes about how farmers live and work.
In addition to traditional crops such as corn and wheat, you might be interested in a peach farm in New Jersey or a horse ranch in Montana. Today there are opportunities in areas such as aquaculture and organic farming as well. Raising exotic animals such as llamas or ostriches is also becoming more common.
To compete as a farmer or rancher, you need education as well as experience. Traditional sources include 4-H clubs, county extension offices and the handing down of family knowledge. Across the country, many colleges have departments specializing in agriculture and agri-business.
Here, the latest methods can be learned to maximize yield from the land by thinning crops, keeping livestock healthy, developing business strategies, and coordinating your efforts with government programs designed to help this vital segment of the economy.
Whether it’s raising fruits, vegetables, grains, or livestock, farmers and ranchers work hard, sometimes in hazardous conditions. They are often at the mercy of nature—and market forces. But they take pride in making a living from the land, and in putting food on the tables of their neighbors—and the world.