Agricultural consultants are sometimes referred to as agribusiness experts. To become an agricultural consultant, an individual must have a passion for farming and agriculture. Most agricultural consultants are interested in ecology, the environment, and farming.
The agricultural consultant must be able to provide services that farmers and those in the agricultural industry cannot provide for themselves. There are various specialties that those who wish to become an agricultural consultant can learn to help those in the agricultural industry. These include irrigation design, pests and disease consulting, animal training, and environmental or farm auditing. Some agricultural consultants even offer laboratory services such as soil analysis and pathology testing.
Farming and agriculture constantly evolves over time. The consultant must keep up to date with the latest technology developments in the agricultural industry. It is also important that consultants become specialists and determine the future needs of those in the agricultural industry.
Proper education is vital to becoming an agricultural consultant. The consultant may choose to get an advanced degree in agriculture, environmental studies or ecology, or may want to obtain a certificate in agriculture. Some common subjects that an agricultural consultant studies include soil fertility, water management, and pest control.
Joining a professional association or organization can also benefit a person who wants to become an agricultural consultant. For example, in the United States there is a professional organization called the American Society of Agricultural Consultants. The professional organization is a meeting ground and learning center for professionals who have expertise in numerous agricultural disciplines such as biotechnology, environment, sustainability, animal production, farm management, and irrigation.
Agricultural consultants must also be business savvy. They are often used to improve the bottom line of those in the agriculture industry. The agricultural consultant must be able to address environmental problems and other concerns that affect the profitability of a farm or company. For example, the consultant may help farmers address pest problems, or decide on tools to increase productivity.
Modern farming can be extremely complicated and requires in-depth knowledge. When a farmer needs expertise that goes beyond his or her capabilities, they call an agricultural consultant. Agriculture consultants are often employed by private individuals, corporations, government bodies and other companies that serve in the agricultural industry. Someone who chooses to become an agricultural consultant may also work with farming research centers, agricultural institutions, and agricultural business firms.