Agriculturist

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Agriculturist
Cropscientist.jpg
An agriculturist doing routine check-up of agronomic crops
Occupation
NamesAgriculturist, agrologist, agronomist, agricultural scientist
Occupation type
Profession
Description
CompetenciesFarming, biology, business, economics, environmental planning
Education required
See § Professional regulation
Fields of
employment
Agribusiness enterprises, farming enterprises, agriculture schools, government offices
Related jobs
Farmer, farm worker, agricultural engineer

An agriculturist, agriculturalist, agrologist or agronomist, is a professional in the science, practice, and management of agriculture and agribusiness.[1][2] It is a regulated profession in Canada, the Philippines, and the United States. Other names used to designate the profession include agricultural scientist, agricultural manager, agricultural planner, or agriculture researcher.

The primary role of agriculturists are in leading agricultural projects, usually in agribusiness planning or research for the benefit of farms, food, and agribusiness related organizations.[3] Agriculturists also have designated plantilla positions in governments as public agriculturists.[4] Agriculturists provide technical advice for farmers and farm workers such as in making crop calendars and work flows to optimize farm production, tracing agricultural market channels,[5] prescribing fertilizers and pesticides to avoid misuse,[6] and in aligning for organic accreditation[7] or the national agricultural quality standards.[8]

Preparation of technical engineering designs and construction for agriculture meanwhile are reserved for agricultural engineers.[9]

Responsibilities[edit]

Agriculturists are science based consultants with major fields of specialization including agribusiness management, crop science, agricultural extension, agriculture economics, development communication, animal science, soil science, food technology, crop protection, agricultural biotechnology, agricultural policy, and environmental science.

In modern practice, agriculturists are expected to be proficient in digital agriculture such as the use of geographic information systems, artificial intelligence, and remote sensing for better agricultural planning.

Agriculturists of today are involved with many issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, distribution of agriculture, recreation surfaces (sports fields, golf courses, and parks), and extracting energy from plants.[10]

Agriculturists often specialize in food and agriculture research areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, turfgrass and insect and pest control.

Professional agriculturists may provide advice directly to farmers, vineyards, agricultural corporations, municipal and provincial governments, the fertilizer and seeds sector, consult on food processing, advise on range management, turf management and golf course operations, assess and provide remedial recommendations for brownlands (contaminated sites), watersheds, among many different areas of practice.

Professional regulation[edit]

Canada[edit]

In Canada, the professional designation is "agrologist", also called "agronome" (abbreviated agr.) in Québec. There are more than 10,000 professional agrologists and agronomes in Canada.[11]

Professional agrologists are accredited through provincial regulatory bodies, e.g. Saskatchewan Institute of Agrology, Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists. The requirements to attain professional designation (PAg) are similar in each province. A prospective agrologist is typically required to have a four year undergraduate science degree directly related to agrology. If accepted by their provincial institute, the applicant is known as an articling agrologist (AAg) or agrologist-in-training (AIT) and must complete a two year educational and mentorship program before being considered for a professional designation.

An alternative certification called "registered technical agrologist" (RTag), or (PTag) is also available, requiring a two-year college or university education in the agricultural sciences instead of a four-year degree. These technologists designations require a two-year mentorship and education program, and participate in the same mentorship processes as a professional agrologist.

Philippines[edit]

In the Philippines, the professional designation is "licensed agriculturist" (L.Agr.)[12]. They are licensed and accredited after successfully passing the Agriculture Licensure Examination. A prospective professional agriculturist is typically required to have a four-year bachelor of science degree in agriculture (general course), although other degree programs directly-related to agriculture are also allowed to take the licensure examination.[13] About 5,500 registered agriculturists pass the licensure examination annually.[14]

The primary role of agriculturists are to prepare technical plans, specifications, and estimates of agriculture projects such as in the construction and management of farms and agribusiness enterprises.[3] The practice of agriculture also includes the following:

  • Consultation, evaluation, investigation, and management of agriculture projects
  • Research and studies in soil analysis and conservation, crop production, breeding of livestock and poultry, tree planting, and other biotechniques
  • Conduct training and extension services on soil analysis and conservation, crop production, breeding of livestock and poultry, tree planting
  • Teaching of agriculture subjects in schools, colleges, and university
  • Management of organizations related to agriculture, both in private and government (eg. Office of the Provincial Agriculturist)

The agriculturist profession and its board of agriculturists were created in 2002 by the Professional Regulation Commission,[13] in order to "upgrade the agriculture and fisheries profession"[15] by the virtue of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997.

The practice of the agriculture profession is a professional service admission. Similar to other professions in the Philippines, malpractice and illegal practice of agriculture are grounds for suspension or revocation of certificates of registration and professional licenses.[16]

Licensed agriculturists in the Philippines are integrated into one accredited integrated professional organization, which is the Philippine Association of Agriculturists.

United States[edit]

An agronomist field sampling a trial plot of flax

In the United States[17] the professional designation is Certified Professional Agronomist (abbreviated C.PAg), the American Society of Agronomy is the regulatory organization responsible for certification. The American Society of Agronomy uses a sliding scale of education and experience to determine certification - it is required to have either a bachelor's degree in science and 5 years work experience, a master's degree related to agrology and 3 years work experience, or a Doctorate related to agrology and a single year of work experience.[18] CPAgs are required to complete at least 50 hours of continuing education through the American Society of Agronomy every two years in order to retain their certification.

The American Society of Agronomy also provides certifications for Certified Crop Advisors (CCA).[18] To become a Certified Crop Adviser an applicant must pass two exams that may both be written on the same day at the same location.  The International exam is written by CCAs in North America. The Prairie region exam is written by individuals wishing to work as advisers in the three Prairie provinces of Canada or in the heartland states of the USA.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Agriculturist". ble.dole.gov.ph. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  2. ^ "Agriculturist". www.speciss.co.zw. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  3. ^ a b "Agriculture | Professional Regulation Commission". www.prc.gov.ph. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  4. ^ "Qualification Standards for Agriculturist Position" (PDF). Civil Service Commission.
  5. ^ "Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance". Department of Agriculture.
  6. ^ "PD 1144 - Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority". fpa.da.gov.ph. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  7. ^ "Organic Agriculture Program".
  8. ^ "BAFS | Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards". 2021-01-18. Archived from the original on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  9. ^ "Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering | Professional Regulation Commission". www.prc.gov.ph. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  10. ^ "I'm An Agronomist!". Imanagronomist.net. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  11. ^ "Overview: Ontario Institute of Agrologists". Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  12. ^ Philippine Association of Agriculturists. "ANNOUNCEMENT: All Licensed Agriculturists Required to Submit a COGS to Renew their License". Philippine Association of Agriculturists.
  13. ^ a b "IRR of PRC Resolution No. 2000-663 (Resolution Creating the Board of Agriculture)" (PDF). Professional Regulation Commission. Board of Agriculturists. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  14. ^ "RESULTS: November 2019 Agriculturists Licensure Examination". Rappler. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Republic Act 8435, Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997.pdf" (PDF). Professional Regulation Commission. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  16. ^ Professional Regulations Commission. "PRC Resolution No. 2000-663, Series of 2000" (PDF). Professional Regulations Commission.
  17. ^ "What is CPAg Certification?" (PDF). American Society of Agronomy. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  18. ^ a b "What is CPAg Certification?" (PDF). American Society of Agronomy. Retrieved 22 June 2014.