The Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster prepares learners for careers in the planning, implementation, production, management, processing, and/or marketing of agricultural commodities and services, including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products. It also includes related professional, technical, and educational services.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Food Products and Processing Pathway discover new food sources, analyze food content, and develop ways to process, preserve, package or store food according to industry and government regulations. They create new food products to meet consumer needs and inspect food-processing areas to ensure that sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards are met.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Plant Systems Pathway study plants and their growth. This helps producers of food, feed, and fiber crops continue to feed a growing population while conserving natural resources and maintaining the environment. Individuals in this pathway also develop ways to improve the nutritional value of crops and quality of seeds. They use genetic engineering to develop crops resistant to pests and drought.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Animal Systems Pathway work to develop better, more efficient ways of producing and processing meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. They study genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domesticated farm animals. Some individuals inspect and grade livestock food products, purchase livestock, or work in technical sales or marketing. Others advise agricultural producers on how to upgrade animal housing facilities properly, lower mortality rates, handle waste matter, or increase production of animal products, such as milk or eggs. Animal care workers train, feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise animals. They also clean, disinfect, and repair their cages.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Power, Structural and Technical Systems pathway apply knowledge of engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, power, structures, and controls to the field of agriculture. They design agricultural structures as well as machinery and equipment. They develop ways to conserve soil and water and to improve the processing of agricultural products.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Natural Resource Systems pathway perform a variety of tasks from helping to develop, maintain, and manage the forest and natural environment to catching and trapping various types of marine life for human consumption, animal feed, bait and other uses. Forest and rangelands supply wood products, livestock forage, minerals and water; serve as sites for recreational activities; and provide habitats for wildlife. Conservation scientists and foresters manage, develop, use and help protect these and other natural resources.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Environmental Service Systems pathway are involved in water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal and public health issues. Environmental engineers and technicians conduct hazardous-waste management studies, evaluate the significance of the hazard, offer analysis on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They design municipal sewage and industrial wastewater systems. They analyze scientific data, research environmental projects and perform quality control checks.
- Individuals pursuing a career in the Agribusiness Systems pathway assist in the coordination of all activities that contribute to the production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing and development of agricultural commodities and resources. This includes food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products and services. Agribusiness is a high-tech industry that uses satellite systems, computer databases and spreadsheets, biotechnology and many other innovations to increase efficiency and profitability.
Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Cluster Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Food Products and Processing Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Plant Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Animal Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Power, Structural, and Technical Systems
- Natural Resource Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Environmental Service Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements
- Agribusiness Systems Pathway Level Knowledge and Skill Statements