Agricultural journalists report and write features that will be found relevant by those involved in agriculture, but stories may also be seen by non-ag readers.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Plan and produce web and print articles that report current trends in agriculture
- Develop new business sources for articles and creates special reports as needed.
- May assist in the shaping of the editorial calendar for the publication
- Research and verify data and sources for stories
- Edit and copy-fit materials you write or
- Use social media to push stories, build traffic on social channels, and distribute content
- Proofread material for accuracy, which may involve working with experts for accuracy and appropriateness
- Photograph events or story subjects
- Assist in designing the layout of publications
- Topics agricultural journalists may cover
- Agriculture news
- Agriculture markets
- Disease or foodborne pathogen outbreaks
- Fairs and expos
- New technologies in seed, equipment, chemistry, or farming practices
- Governmental regulations
- Training and further education opportunities
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism or agriculture communications. Strong computer and Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint) skills. Photography and basic video skills are a plus.
To pursue a career as an agriculture journalist:
- The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, writing, English and computer courses.
Where can I work?
There are many trade publications that are agriculture specific that would prefer to hire someone with an agriculture background. Some newspapers have writers who are agriculture reporters and companies often have communications personnel who write for their brochures, websites, and press releases.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for an agriculture journalist will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- AgChat Foundation
- PRSA – Public Relations Society of America
- National Agri-Marketing Association