Food for Thought
Agronomists use science and technology to increase production and use of plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation. This helps meet the needs of a world population that has doubled over the past 50 years. Agronomy has come to encompass work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. It is the application of a combination of sciences like biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics.
As of 2015, agronomists are involved with many issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Agronomists often specialize in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and insect and pest control.
An ongoing study between the United States Department of Agriculture and Purdue University looks at job trends and career growth in agriculture related fields. In their most recent projection for the years 2015-2020, they found that annually, the United States can anticipate 57,900 new jobs for graduates with a bachelors degree or higher in fields relating to agriculture. However, in the same time frame, our colleges and universities are only on track to graduate 35,400 students, leaving jobs to be filled by less qualified candidates from other majors and programs. Be part of a field that truly grows. Be an agronomist.