Agricultural and Food Scientists: Career, Courses, Training, Jobs & Growth Prospects
Agriculture and Food is the top need of the world. This industry is fast and continuously growing. For various reasons agricultural and food industry faces many challenges; these could be geographic, environmental or a crisis may be. Also to fulfill the growing food demand and requirement to supply nutritious food industry needs services of qualified professionals preferably with knowledge agriculture, food and nutritionist and application of science, engineering and technology to it.
Study programmes in Agricultural and Food Sciences discipline starts from senior school onward. Associate degree programmes are also offered. And the candidates who pursue a minimum of 4 year university programme or higher get chance to work with scientific and technology of agriculture and food. Various higher degree programmes like MS, PhD and Post Doctoral etc are also offered by different universities and research institutions worldwide.
If you are interested in farm crops and animals study and want to improve quality and quantity of food production you could explore career as Agricultural and Food Scientist. There is choice of working in different settings including businesses, universities, not-for-profit or the government. Food scientists and technologists also work in the food processing industry.The following are types of agricultural and food scientists:
- Animal scientists typically conduct research on domestic farm animals. With a focus on food production, they explore animal genetics, nutrition, reproduction, diseases, growth, and development.
- Food scientists and technologists use chemistry and other sciences to study the underlying principles of food.
- Soil and plant scientists conduct research on soil, crops, and other agricultural products.
Role of Agricultural and Food Scientists
- Conduct research and experiments concerning animal nutrition and field crops
- Develop ways to improve the quantity and quality of field crops and farm animals
- Create new food products and develop new and better ways to process, package, and deliver them
- Study the composition of soil as it relates to plant growth
- Communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers, and the public
Skills of Agricultural and Food Scientists
Communication skills: Communication skills are very important for agricultural and food scientists. They should be able to explain their studies and communicate well when working with others, including technicians and student assistants.
Critical-thinking skills: Agricultural and food scientists must use their expertise to determine the best way to answer a specific research question.
Data-analysis skills: Agricultural and food scientists should be able to apply standard data analysis techniques to understand the data and get the answers to the questions they are studying.
Decision-making skills: Agricultural and food scientists must use their expertise and experience to determine whether their findings will have an impact on the food supply, farms, and other agricultural products.
Observation skills: Agricultural and food scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or inaccurate results.
Some Job Titles
Animal scientists, Food scientists and technologists, Plant scientists, Soil scientists, Researcher, Professor etc.
Where to study
Generally to start work as Agricultural and Food Scientist you need a bachelors degree in Agricultural Engineering / Food Sciences and Technology or a related discipline. Also candidates are chosen to work as Agricultural and Food Scientist from study areas like Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Water Resources, Environment, Biotechnology etc. To find a suitable study programme go to University Hub