I am not a farmer. I do not produce any type of agricultural product to be sold. Still my job depends solely on agriculture. My formal education is not in agriculture, it is actually in finance and business. I work as an agricultural analyst and risk management consultant. I sit down with farmers every day to go through their operation to help them see what they need to do to meet their goals and mitigate some possible risks. I dig through their financials, analyze their income streams, break out their expenses, and show them their options. Sometimes it is hard especially in a down market, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am not the only one who is not a farmer and their job depends on agriculture. I have worked in Ag Banking for some time now and Ag Bankers are a special breed. They work to get a farmer’s business and then work with them to keep their business thriving. Ag Banking is a completely different animal than commercial banking. I think it takes a different mindset.The reason the Ag Banker is an Ag Banker is because they chose to be, and they love agriculture just as much as the farmers themselves.
Then you have all of the input and equipment salespeople. The people that sell fertilizer, seed, equipment, parts, and much more that is needed in a farm operation. Their jobs are dependent on Ag as well. These people also care about a farmer’s business and have a love for the farm. They come by routinely to check in, and a lot of times it’s not to sell anything. They really just want to see how the crop is coming out and if what they sold their client is working out as it should.
Don’t forget about the tech folks. They spend their days racking their brains to create one more thing that could make farms more efficient, profitable, or safe among other things. These people may not work directly on the farm or may not visit the farm often, but they work to better the farm. They are trying to think one step ahead to make the future of agriculture bright. Some of them may work miles and miles from the closest farm, yet their job still depends on Ag.
You also have those who process the products that farmers produce. This could be a cotton gin, grain elevator, commodity buying point, processing plant, and that is just naming a few. This category includes so many people and business types there is no way I can name them all. Really anyone that puts their hand on that agricultural product before it is sold to a consumer…..that is a lot of jobs!
Not all of us can be farmers. Some of us want to be and can’t for some reason, then there are some of us who know we can better serve by contributing to agriculture in another way. The world of agriculture is huge and constantly expanding. It is mind boggling sometimes to think about how far agriculture has come and how many jobs it has provided over the decades. I know that I will never run a farm of my own, but I’m alright with that because I know what I do has an impact on the success of the farm. I am a fiercely independent person (to my own detriment at times) and was raised to depend on myself. No matter how independent I may be, I am proud to say that my job does depend on agriculture.
Ashley Arrington grew up in the State of Georgia, surrounded by everything agriculture. Ashley graduated with a Bachelor’s in Finance and then obtained her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Augusta University.Ashley has worked in the banking industry for a decade and now concentrates exclusively on agricultural banking and analysis. Mrs. Arrington is the co-founder of Agri Authority and works as an agricultural analyst and risk management consultant. Ashley is a leading agriculture risk management expert in the Southeastern USA.