I am thinking of choosing a career in Agronomy.What qualifications do I need to become an Agronomist? I am currently studying for my Leaving certificate in Ireland.(A-levels in Britain) and need to find out what course I need to apply for it.
Having considered it as oneof my possible career options, I can say how valuable a degree in agricultural science is. As tesla says, BASIS and FACTS is a must. The degree really breaks the science of agriculture down, and you UNDERSTAND it. There arent many universities that offer a sciencey course, but there is Newcastle, Nottingham and Reading. I would say Nottingham is the most sciency out of all of them.
I’d agree the best start is probably to get an agricultural degree either from one of the Universities, or from one of the more traditional agricultrual colleges. But I’m not sure there is any absolute requirement for a degree to be an agronomist, and on the job training can be just as effective. But if you can go to University I would go – not least because it is a greta experience.
Another route in could be through field trials with an organisation like TAG, a distributor or an agchem manufacturer. I started by doing field trials for Crop Care Chemicals (now part of Agrovista) for a number of years, and it gives you a brilliant understanding of crops, at least the ones you do trials on, and what chemicals / agronomy will be required. After a year of doing trials you will almost certainly be able to recognise common weeds / diseases etc without any problems, and know their latin names too probably!
Most of the distributors are usually looking for good quality trainee agronomists too.
Even better, get involved in trials while uou are at uni! I had the oportunity to work fwith a trials manager for TAG, but my dissertation load was high at that time, so unfortunately I couldnt help out.
While on the subject of TAG, they are desparate for agricultural graduates, and have set up a scheme where they assign you with a senior consultant to train you up. If you enroll when you are at uni, they offer you a bursary. It is only with selected universities though.
Tas cowboy, these acronyms are just british bullshit. On the job training is best, but britain prefers textbook learned incompetence.
you should be doing BASIS to keep up with changing legislation and how pesticides and nutrients affect the environment. Ive me so many people who have farmed for years who are making basic mistakes or doing things that are effecting water courses / damaging wildlife when there are ways around it. It also promotes best practice and an audit trail to show what is done where. Farming for years has been a dirty buisness but slowly due to BASIS and other training bodies standards are going up. Im in the amenity sector and deal with invasive species but BASIS is a very important and worthwhile qualification and one that takes a long time to achieve