Each year more than 14,000 agronomy-related jobs are posted with an estimated growth rate of 6.5 percent, yet only 2,800 new agronomy students graduate annually to fill these positions. Agronomy-related jobs are often high-tech and play an important role in addressing the challenge of how to feed a rapidly increasing global population.
A video developed to create awareness among high school and college students about these jobs answers the question – What is an Agronomist? In the video, Adam Gaspar, a graduate student in agronomy at UW-Madison, explains an agronomist’s daily role in agriculture, the abundant career opportunities currently available, and how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) support the job of an agronomist in the rapidly changing world of agriculture.
Gaspar said agronomists help farmers on a daily basis solve different challenges they face in their field by being at the forefront of connecting farmers with new technologies and production practices that are developed using high tech tools and instruments.
“I don’t go in the field without an iPad and Internet access,” he says in the video. “We have automated drones and satellites capturing images from above while different sensors measure soil conditions from the ground to make every day fun and exciting to be an agronomist.”
Gaspar is currently working with Shawn Conley, a UW-Madison agronomy professor and UW-Extension soybean and small grains specialist, to develop different management practices that soybean growers throughout the Midwest can use to increase yield and production in an economically and environmentally sustainable fashion.
What is an Agronomist? can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uAv03brCd4. The video was developed for distribution through the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and STEM Food and Agriculture.