Work Inside or Outside? 5 Ag Jobs That Allow for BOTH!

A common question when considering a career path in agriculture is “do I want to work inside or outside?”. The answer is often, “well, both”.

I remember my perception when I graduated college was that if I wanted to be a true “professional” I needed to take an office job, however the idea of sitting in front of computer all day was depressing to me.

As with many things, I was completely wrong. There are PLENTY of very professional positions with great compensation and career prospects that involve working outside.

I was also wrong about all office jobs looking like a Dilbert comic. There are many office jobs that are exciting and challenging and will ensure that even the most restless person enjoys going to the office every day.

Here are five examples of careers in agriculture that will keep you engaged working both inside and outside. These also have great career prospects for those willing to do the work.

1. Agronomy Sales. This involves developing expertise on how crops grow and what products maximize efficiency in crop yields. With this knowledge an Agronomy Salesman works directly with growers to offer crop production solutions and technologies. This may mean selling them seed, fertilizer, or chemicals or by offering consulting services. This requires and Agronomy Salesman to be out in the field in front of their customer base, but also in the office making calls and completing paperwork.


2. Grain Merchandiser. If you’re competitive and have a fascination with how markets work, you should really consider grain merchandising. The food supply chain relies on market factors to move commodities from surplus to demand. Grain Merchandisers are experts in the markets and efficiently buy, sell, transport, and hedge commodities. We did an introduction to grain merchandising in this blog post. Many Grain Merchandisers work at a facility where they must be well-versed in the facility requirements and constraints. Also, they must spend time with customers at the farm, feedlot, or processing plant in addition to their duties on the trade desk.


3. Feed Mill Manager. Ever wonder how your pet food or livestock feed is made? Behind each of those bagged feeds is a feed mill that is operated by a team of employees lead by a Feed Mill Manager. Also, behind every commercial livestock or poultry operation there is a feed mill that manufactures that feed. This position often oversees the employees, maintenance, safety, and operations of receiving raw commodities then processing and packaging them for distribution. A successful Feed Mill Manager must have high attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and the ability to follow through on tasks in a timely and efficient manner. To do this he/she must spend time in the plant leading by example, and time in the office taking care of administrative duties.


4. Safety & Compliance Coordinator. All operations should make employee safety their #1 priority. To back this up with action, it’s imperative that everyone in the organization keep up to date on the latest best safety practices and OSHA regulations. This requires a capable team member to follow these practices and regulations and effectively educate everyone within the company. Also, in this important role an individual must develop company policies and make sure that all parties are adhering to the highest safety and compliance standards. A Safety & Compliance Coordinator will spend time in the office keeping updated on best practices and also spend time out in the field training staff and evaluating equipment and procedures to make sure they comply.


5. Quality Assurance. As a company grows, maintaining product quality becomes more difficult but even more important. In recent years we have seen recalls and food safety issues, not to mention the more common product defects that don’t make headlines. Many agribusinesses are moving large volumes of product and a temporary lapse in quality assurance could mean huge negative consequences. A Quality Assurance Representative spends some time “on the line” (in the plant) collecting samples and evaluating output, and other time in the office or lab evaluating those samples and analyzing data.


I chose these 5 agricultural careers out of the many that involve working both inside and outside (get a free E-Book with 327 Ag Careers here). This is partly because I have openings in all five of these job categories right now. Please email me your resume if interested to


Do you have a great job in the agriculture industry that allows you to work both inside and outside? If so, let us know about it in the comments!

Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.