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...whatever your passion, a degree in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University prepares you for the future food and agricultural industry.

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"The 10 college majors with the lowest unemployment rates"

What It Means To You

Placement...students graduating with a degree in the department enjoy a 97% placement rate at graduation and an average starting salary of $39,400. Students choose from a vast number of careers in the food and agricultural industries – sales, management, commodity trading, financial lending, investment brokerage, product promotion, and many others.

Internships ...students have access to a great number of internships. Internships that build your skills while you apply what you have learned, make industry contacts, and gain the competitive edge.

FACT #1

...nearly one in five jobs in the United States is connected with the food and agricultural industry, and less than 3% are on-the-farm jobs.
  • There is a strong need for Ag Economists. Additionally, the industry has a strong demand for non-farm skills in business, finance, sales, and marketing.

FACT #2

...the U.S. food and agribusiness industry includes the following sectors – distribution, marketing, manufactured products, agricultural inputs, agricultural production, world markets, and services to these sectors.
  • Ag Economists are needed in various types of companies – food manufacturers, food retailers, advertising and marketing firms, agricultural suppliers, government agencies, financial institutions, etc.

FACT #3

...the food and agricultural industry is seeing increased globalization.
  • The industry needs individuals well-trained in business to better manage in a global system.

FACT #4

...the food and agricultural industry contributes nearly one-fifth of the U.S. Gross National Product—America's largest industry.
  • Graduates from Agricultural Economics programs are essential to the U.S. economy.
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Potential Careers

What can students do...with a degree in Agricultural Economics? Gradutes of the program offer industry and government agencies a diverse background of skills in sales, marketing, finance, and management. Graduates enjoy careers involving the management of people, products, and numbers in various sectors of the industry from food manufacturers to agricultural supply firms to financial lending institutions to service firms to government agencies. Some careers of our recent alumni:

  • Agricultural Chemical Sales Representative
  • Agricultural Seed Sales Representative
  • Agricultural Supply Management
  • Animal Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative
  • Commodity Merchandising
  • Consumer Brand Management
  • Corporate Management Trainee
  • Customer Service Representative
  • District Grocery Store Management
  • Elevator Management
  • Financial Planning Representative
  • Food Manufacturing Sales Representative
  • Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative
  • Investment Representative
  • Law School
  • Loan Officer
  • Production Management
  • Professional Farm Management
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Employer Companies

WHO HIRES GRADUATES ...from Agricultural Economics programs? Graduates of the program seek employment from food, agricultural, and non-agricultural industries as well as government agencies. These firms range from grocery stores to agricultural suppliers to pharmaceutical companies to financial institutions to food manufacturers, etc. Some companies recruiting recent graduates:

  • Agrigold
  • Aldi, Inc.
  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • Beck's Hybrids
  • Bunge North America
  • CGB Enterprises, Inc.
  • Cargill, Inc.
  • ConAgra Foods
  • Deere & Company
  • Dow Agrosciences
  • Edward D. Jones
  • E & J Gallo Winery
  • Farm Credit Services
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Growmark, Inc.
  • Hormel Foods
  • Land O' Lakes
  • Northwestern Mutural Financial
  • Philip Morris USA
  • Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
  • Prudential Financial
  • Sygenta Seeds
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Majors

STUDENTS CHOOSE ...the area of Agricultural Economics that they want to specialize in. Below are the major specializations available. In addition, students may choose to do any number of minors as a supplement to their main education. Click here for the full list of majors and minors available to Agricultural Economics students.

Agribusiness: Agribusiness ManagementUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).  
Agribusiness: Agricultural Marketing
Agribusiness: Agricultural FinanceUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).  
Agribusiness: Commodity Marketing
Agribusiness: Food MarketingUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).  
Agricultural Economics: Applied Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Economics: Commodity MarketingUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).  
Agricultural Economics: Quantitative AnalysisUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Farm ManagementUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).  
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Industry Relations

Representatives expect superior students ...from Purdue's Agricultural Economics program because of our many years of excellent industry relationships. Our relationship with the industry is bolstered through recurring events such as the School of Agriculture's career fair and the Center for Food and Agribusiness programs. Purdue's Agricultural Economics program has come to attract industry representatives who are continually impressed, returning to campus again and again to recruit students for internship and full-time positions. Look below to see comments about Purdue's Agricultural Economics program from some industry representatives:

begin quote

Archer Daniels Midland has held the Purdue Agricultural Economics Program in the highest regard for many years. The quality of students within the program continually meet ADM's recruiting expectations. Numerous Purdue Agricultural Economics alumni are currently managing our business units. We look forward to uture recruiting at Purdue with much excitement, as we source our leaders of tomorrow!

end quote Case M. McGee Manager of College Recruiting Archer Daniels Midland
begin quote

We have become the largest agricultural lender by understanding the needs of agriculture, having a good grasp on Ag economics and possessing the ability to analyze each customers' situation.

This ability comes from quality employees like we find within Purdue University's Agricultural Economics department. With leadership abilities, broad Agriculture knowledge and a drive to succeed, we look to Purdue to fill many of our full time positions, along with many summer internships.

The Purdue University Ag Economics department has been a tremendous source of employees for Farm Credit Services. We have enjoyed our relationship in the past and look forward to working together in the future.

end quote Alicia Neal Recruitment Specialist Farm Credit Services
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Student Comments

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In this department, you decide what you want to do and who you want to be. It is Freedom of Choice at its greatest considering the experiences available with internships, study abroad opportunities, course selection, and career paths.

end quote Derek Agricultural Economics
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The Ag Econ department at Purdue offers a personal touch to students attending the large campus by promoting peer, professor, and advisor interaction within the department and taking actions to accomplish such goals.

end quote Kylene Agribusiness Management
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I feel like a student is not just another face, because the faculty tried to get to know students personally.

end quote Craig Agribusiness Management
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The faculty is regarded as the best in the nation, but yet is still down to earth, easily accessible, and always willing to help.

end quote Craig Agribusiness Management
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Every professor always has an "open-door" policy and is willing to help you in any possible way. It's great knowing that they truly are interested in their students and want to help you succeed in any way, both inside and outside of the classroom.

end quote Beth Food Industry Marketing Management
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In my summer experience in London, England, I was able to apply many of my past class experiences that I had with the Ag Econ department. I was able to take advantage of many opportunities, such as working at the National Farmer's Union.

end quote Kylene Agribusiness Management
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Purdue University's Department of Agricultural Economics can provide the tools to build a career of your choice.

end quote Derek Agricultural Economics
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I really feel that as a student in Ag Econ, I am above the norm in terms of career preparation. The faculty here has created a curriculum that prepares you for the 'real world.' I have a strong resume and have developed the public and social skills that will set me apart as I enter the job market after graduation.

end quote Beth Food Industry Marketing Management
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I believe I could not be in a better situation than I am right now. The AGEC department prepares you for all aspects of entering the job market. Through networking and communication within the department, students are aware of any and all opportunities that are out there.

end quote Craig Agribusiness Management
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The Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University gives people an opportunity to associate themselves as individuals and not just statistics.

end quote Derek Agricultural Economics
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Our academic advisors are always eager and willing to assist students in any way possible.

end quote Matt Agribusiness Management
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My academic advisor is knowledgeable about all classes, the professors that teach them, and the things I will learn in each class. He lets me be flexible with my schedule, and is always willing to help.

end quote Craig Agribusiness Management
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