Study and predict trends in farm commodities.
What does an Agricultural Economist do?
An Economist is someone who studies different resources, their distribution, and the way they influence the economy. So by definition, an Agricultural Economist studies the same things, but focuses solely on agricultural resources.
Agricultural Economists spend their days gathering data, researching what the data mean, and writing reports and predictions based on their information. The resources you, as an Agricultural Economist, are most concerned with are agricultural commodities like animals, feeds, building supplies, and farm equipment-pretty much anything that can help a Farmer grow their business. You take a look at the market of specific commodities-for example, corn or hay-and then based on previous experience and learned knowledge, you predict if they’ll grow or shrink.
You keep in mind things like natural disasters that can ruin crops, and come up with ways a Farmer can avoid losing everything should these happen. With these educated guesses, you can help Farmers decide what to do for the future of their business. This might mean suggesting that they plant a new type of crop, or hold on to their goods for another season.
Although Farmers use the information you find and the reports you write, they’re not really the ones who employ you. Instead, you work for government agencies (like the Department of Agriculture), labor unions, big agricultural farms, or conservation organizations. In other words, you are employed by pretty much any agricultural organization that needs the proper information and knowledge to make economic decisions.