our everyday life

Agribusiness Careers & Salaries

by Anthony Oster, studioD

When you hear the term "Agricultural Business," it is easy to associate jobs in this field with just farming, dairy production and animal husbandry. However, agribusiness employs nearly one quarter of the U.S. workforce, according to North Dakota State University. While farming and production careers are components of the agribusiness sector, jobs in agribusiness can include sales, agricultural economics, quality assurance for private companies, or government.

Agribusiness Systems

Like any business, there are several key components of agribusiness that must be fulfilled in order to maintain successful operations. Agricultural economists and market analysts analyze market data and make recommendations to producers and suppliers about potential buying trends. Quality assurance specialists evaluate production standards to ensure that the products are produced at the highest of standards. Grain brokers negotiate the price of grain between clients in addition to purchasing grain futures. Salaries in agribusiness systems careers can range between $29,150 and $69,800 annually, according to the Future Farmers of America.

Public Administration and Safety

The agricultural field is solely responsible for providing food to U.S. consumers. Because having healthy, nutritious food is paramount to our nation's health and survival, producers and manufacturers are held to rigorous governmental standards and regulations. Animal and produce inspectors grade food based on these standards and determine if food is safe for human consumption. Weights and Measures officials evaluate markets and grocers to ensure that consumers are being charged accurately for the food that they purchase, while canning and preserving inspectors work in factories and production facilities to ensure that foods are prepared and packaged according to federal safety standards. Working in the governmental and public administration sector can yield annual salaries between $18,000 and $33,390 according to the Future Farmers of America.

Legal Services

The agricultural businesses, like other private-sector businesses, requires legal aid and services to maintain proper business standards. Unlike corporate lawyers, agricultural lawyers spend most of their time with clients, assisting farmers in buying property, signing contracts and settling estates. Biotechnology patent agents protect farmers and producers by filing and processing patents designed to preserve the intellectual property and manufacturing techniques used by farmers and production facilities. Agricultural lawyers are reported to earn an average salary $108,790 while biotechnology patent agents can earn between $30,000 and $75,000.

International Services

Agricultural businesses also import and export goods to and from every country in the world. Foreign affairs officials, international specialists and export sales managers are experts in foreign trade policy and work as a liaison between domestic farmers and their international clients while navigating various international import and export laws and regulations. Salaries in these careers can range between $28,000 and $85,770.


Agriculture would not exist without the production of agricultural foods and services. Despite this fact, production services make up the smallest portion of the agribusiness sector. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, farmers, ranch hands and other producers of agricultural products earned an average salary of $60,750 in 2010.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images