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An agricultural economist, or industry analyst, provides high-level economic intelligence to manage risk and prepare a company or business for the future.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Analyze agricultural, economic, and financial trends
- Gather information regarding market variables including weather, industry competition, government policy, foreign competition and policies, cost of production, consumer trends, etc.
- Write and deliver timely, insightful, and concise research reports related to industry trends, structural change, and policy initiatives
- Utilize computer-based modeling to project agricultural production
- Arrange field visits or tours to affected areas, companies, or farms
- Prepare and deliver presentations to internal and external audiences
- Remain up-to-date on trends, market conditions, and economic conditions impacting the industry and your employer
- Identify and implement key research projects
- Develop relationships with other industry experts to facilitate information sharing
- Respond to any external or customer inquiries and data requests
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in economics, agricultural business, or a related field is required. A degree in agronomy or animal science, depending on the position you receive, may also suffice or be helpful.
To pursue a career as an Agricultural Economist:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, advanced mathematics (statistics, probability), business courses, and computer courses.
Economists may work for banks, lending firms, risk management firms, government agencies, or any kind of medium to large-scale agricultural company.
Future Job Market/Outlook
The future outlook for an economist will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
- International Association of Agricultural Economists