"If you are in college or heading to college, but want to eventually head back home to a one stop light town, here are some career paths to look into."
In college, when it became obvious my now husband was going nowhere but back to the family farm, I became nervous about finding a career that I would love. His hometown was less than 5,000 people and not within commuting distance of any major city.
I loved him, and I loved the idea of farming. The thought of raising kids on a farm sounded perfect. But there were a few realities that bothered me.
First, I knew we couldn’t both stay on the farm. One of us was going to have to have reliable and steady income to cover our costs and start paying back student loans, not to mention the need for health insurance. .
Second, I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t have a stimulating career that pushed me mentally and forced me to develop as a professional. So, when I landed a job with the largest agriculture lender in the state I thought I felt like I had struck gold (I was right by the way, my job is still a pretty sweet deal!).
The more time I spent in the industry, the more I noticed that the demand is strong in many careers that can take you back home to rural America!
If you are in college or heading to college, but want to eventually head back home to a one stop light town, here are some career paths to look into.
1. Farm Appraiser: This is first for the obvious reason it’s the best career! (Or at least, it’s my career). Actually, there is a great demand for Farm Appraisers in rural America. The average age of Certified General Appraisers (the highest license available and a requirement if you want to appraise farm land), is reflective of the age of farmers – somewhere in the upper 50’s.
As a farm appraiser I spend most my time in the field looking at farms. I visit with farmers and provide services help them manage risk on their operations better. The analytical side of me loves the number crunching and data analysis I do each day. It’s a rewarding and well-paying job, for more information on this career path; visit the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
2. Farm Manager: Land ownership in our state is following trends seen in many states. We are getting more and more out of the area land owners (either through inheritance or purchase) and these land owners often know very little about agriculture. The demand for Farm Managers, someone to help guide owners in making sound management decisions for their farms, is growing in nearly every rural market.
Farm managers spend a great deal of time networking with farmers, land owners, buyers and sellers. They make arrangements for the operations of farms, they monitor progress and sometimes are even directly involved in farming properties! For information n this career path, also visit the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
3. Crop Insurance Agent: With more volatile markets and rising input costs, most farmers have to take advantage of any risk management tools they can. A huge one in crop areas is crop insurance.
Insurance agents work with farmers to help guide them through insurance policies, finding which options are best for their farms. They assist them with making claims and other aspects of insurance. For information on this career path, visit National Crop Insurance Services.
4. Crop Insurance Adjuster: Of course with all the crop insurance policies come crop insurance claims. Adjusters work with the agents and farmers to measure any loss that farmers have.
Adjusters spend a lot of time in the field working directly with farmers, mostly on their farms. For information on becoming a crop adjuster, visit the websites of Crop Insurance companies such as Rain and Hail.
5. Land Surveyor: There is a huge need for land surveyors in rural America and that need is anticipated to keep growing! The average age, much like that of appraisers, is estimated at 57..
Land Surveyor’s work with farmers, government institutions, financial institutions, attorney’s and more. They are skilled professionals that spend time in the field and also get to utilize technology. For more information on this career path, please visit All About Surveying!
What other careers are available in your piece of rural America?
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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