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Agriculture: Not Simply Raising Livestock and Growing Grain

Agriculture: Not Simply Raising Livestock and Growing Grain

By Colorado State University


Agriculture, as defined by, is "the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock, and in varying degrees, the preparation and marketing of the resulting products."

One might argue that this definition only speaks to agriculture in its purest form, and doesn’t clearly explain the interdisciplinary nature of the ever evolving agriculture industry. At Colorado State University, we offer a Master of Agriculture specializing in Integrated Resource Management and one specializing in Agricultural Extension Education that look at traditional agriculture, as well as the applied nature of the industry. Students are able to choose focus areas and tailor their degrees to fit their professional and personal goals, selecting courses in community development, 4-H and youth development, agricultural communications, environmental education, water resources, business, and education – in addition to the traditional farm and ranch management kind of curriculum.

The diversity of our degrees is designed to allow graduates to become competitive in the job market. Students are able to look at opportunities with organizations like the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource and Soil Conservation, and the Bureau of Land Management. Positions within these organizations include Extension agent, agronomist, range specialist, and community development specialist. Graduates of our Integrated Resource Management program have followed a variety of career paths, including Extension work, professional sales, technical service, breeding associations, and wildlife/forest management.

Career Outlook

O*Net Online, a service provided by the United States Department of Labor, offers career services and industry outlooks. Doing a quick search of "Career Clusters,” the agriculture, food, and natural resources cluster has numerous careers with bright outlooks and green industry alignment. Positions like graphic designers, agriculture inspectors, foresters, natural science managers, and animal scientists are among those listed. The industry has several careers with promising futures, and they are not limited to the traditional careers associated with the classic definition of agriculture.

If you’ve thought about an advanced degree in agriculture, it’s now time to consider all the different paths that can take you down – in addition to the traditional ones we all think of when we think of careers in ag. Learn more about our programs online or contact Patricia Spears-Taff, our student services representative for the Integrated Resource Management master’s degree as well as the Agricultural Extension Education program. She’s available to walk you through these degrees to help you determine if they are the right fit for your goals – 970-492-4715 or