Another change in the agricultural job is in the method of tilling the land. In the past, horses and mules pulled the plows that prepared the soil for farming. Today, agricultural engineers have designed tractors which are manufactured in large factories in the city. Tractors have allowed the farmers to sow and harvest more efficiently, increasing the production of crops per acre. This shift in tilling methods has made many acres of land available for the production of crops for human consumption rather than to feed the animals that formerly pulled the plows. It also made farmers highly dependent on outside sources for their equipment and brought a new emphasis on the need for more sophisticated cash management.
These are only two examples of farm work jobs and other dairy farm jobs which were once performed on the farm that have shifted to industries in the city. There are many others, all of which have expanded the scope and increased the number of agricultural employment and, therefore, the number of career opportunities available to young people. American agriculture is vast and diversified industry. The farmer who cultivates the land, raises livestock, and grows plants; the industries that process, distribute, or transport farm products and farm supplies, the organizations that supply services to the farmer and the consumer; the forester who cultivates forest land and timber; the conservationist who preserves and protects natural resources; and the schools and communications organizations that supply education and information about these occupations - all are working together in what is today known as the agriculture industry. Every day, in a variety of ways, it touches the lives of all persons, rural and urban, young and old.
At one time, farming jobs and agriculture job meant the same thing, but this is no longer true. Today, agricultural job includes not only farming and farm management but also many businesses and industries that produce goods and services the farmer uses to raise livestock and grow crops. Agriculture also includes industries that buy and process the products of the farm, as well as some industries that sell raw and processed farm products to the consumer. This whole complex of activities is often called agri-business. The base for all agricultural work is the farm. The average farm will have a farm manager, who will probably have attended college for an agricultural degree. The manager will have farm laborers who will work either on a temporary basis during the planting or the harvest season, or permanent laborers who are in charge of regular production tasks.
Single crop farms are commonplace, with the cash crop -the crop that is grown for sales being the only thing produced on the farm. Wheat farms and corn farms are obvious on any back road drive through the Midwest and the plains states. Specialized livestock production is mainly centered on cattle and chicken farming in the United States. Sheep, goat, turkey, and fish farming are other livestock that are found on single livestock farms.
Diversified farm jobs will produce several different crops or animals, or a mixture of both for sale. The old-style family farm was frequently a diversified farm, with crops and a barn full of animals. It is less common now, partly because of the ease of specialized production, but mainly because the profit margin is often higher with single crop production. The land is normally well suited to only a few types of plants or animals and diversifying becomes difficult. But the diversified farm is less dependent on the success of production of a single item. Drought, lease, and other natural disasters may take less of a toll on the farm profits if many items are produced. The off -the-farm industries provide farmers with seed, fertilizer, and machinery. The output industries then process and market the farm products. Storage, shipping, processing, packaging, and canning are just some of the industries that assist the farmer in the sale of goods. Indeed, this revolutionized trend of agricultural job which transforms into agri-business provides a big impact to the economy.