Agriculture: From Cows to Christmas Trees and Everything in Between




By: Emma Likens

One in every three jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture, according to a study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  So naturally that means one in every three working adults in Nebraska is a farmer, right?  Not quite.  In reality, many of these jobs support the agricultural industry in some shape or form, such as grain elevators, meat packing plants or marketing agencies that promote agricultural products.

Here’s a few professions that while they are not on-the-farm-jobs, they are still vital parts to the agricultural industry.

Grain Merchandiser

Grain merchandisers purchase farm commodities for resale or further processing to add value.  After negotiating contracts with farmers to purchase farm products, they then arrange for transportation, storage and processing or resale of the products.  Products grain merchandisers commonly work with are milk, grains and Christmas trees.

Grain merchandisers hard at work on the CHS exchange floor. (photo from


Food Scientist

Alongside farmers, food scientists impact the world three times a day through their work in regulation, processing, research and quality assurance areas.  Food scientists work in a variety of places, from food processing plants to government positions.  Some food scientists work to determine the calorie and nutrient content of foods for labeling, while others research new methods of food storage.

Norman Borlaugh, Nobel Prize winning food scientist. (photo from

Agricultural Editor

Agricultural editors work for newspapers and trade publications.  They research and interview sources to write articles and often take their own pictures as well.  Some editors also produce video content to accompany stories.  They may also manage online content and write content for blogs.

Agricultural editors work for a variety of publications, including Farm Journal (photo from

Agriculture is a huge industry, ranging from cows to Christmas trees.  Though I’ve just covered a few, there are literally hundreds of jobs related to agriculture that support farmers.  Have you ate today?  Thank a farmer (or someone else included in those one in three jobs)!

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