By vistaplusadmin | June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

The AgTech Sector: Jobs and Possibilities

A number of technological advances in agriculture have shaped human history. From the Industrial Revolution to the mechanization of labor, and now into the 21st century and the Information Age, we are living through a point in time when the link between Technology and Agriculture is clearer than ever before.  

It has become so obvious, that even a significant portion of the Agricultural Industry is now deemed AgTech, short for Agriculture Technology. As a field, AgTech is large and diverse. Broadly speaking, AgTech jobs are technology jobs that assist or relate to farming and agriculture. This includes jobs in: 

  • Agricultural drone and robotics engineering,  
  • Satellite photography and sensors analysis and management,  
  • Internet-based networking, 
  • Weather and big data forecasting,  
  • Automated irrigation monitoring and development, 
  • Light and heat control,  
  • Software analysis for pest and disease control,  
  • Soil and plant management and analytics,  
  • BioTech,  
  • Hydroponic and/or water monitoring and management, 
  • Soil moisture management, and more. 

 As you start your exploration of the AgTech sector and your search on VISTA+, it is helpful to understand the jobs out there that might interest you. The following job titles and descriptions can help you to figure out your interests. 

 

Crop Production and Cultivation Data Analysts 

 Crop Protection and Cultivation Data Analysts are responsible for the communication of data between suppliers and customers. They may also work closely with several internal departments including a local cultivation team or a research and development department. Data analysts deal with operational output and environment variables data to find trends and correlations as they relate to their organization’s key performance indicators. Their responsibilities may include ensuring the accuracy of data reports related to sales, inventory, price changes, grower program details, inventory protection and adjustment, and price protection credits management.  

 Data Analysts must be both detail and big picture oriented. They should be comfortable working with ambiguous data sets in collaborative environments.  

 

AgTech Designer / Architect 

Designers in AgTech provide engineering and design services for agribusiness, industrial and commercial facilities anchored in agriculture. This can include expansions, retrofits and new facility design for a variety of projects ranging from distribution centers, food processing plants and chemical manufacturing facilities to feed mills and export terminals. While working closely with Engineers and Project Managers, Designers prepare construction documents, perform design work to specified standards and provide work direction for others. The following outline some responsibilities from a Designer job posting: 

  • Layout plans, sections and details to specified computer-aided design (CAD) standards working directly with engineers or project managers. 
  • Provide direction and distribute work to Technicians. 
  • Review and back-check Technician’s work. 
  • Coordinate with design team members and product vendors. 
  • Communicate with clients and/or contractors regarding RFI’s and field questions. 
  • Maintain awareness of fees and drafting time, understand project scope and identify potential additional service items. 
  • Review shop drawings. 
  • Attend internal coordination meetings and client coordination meetings as needed. 
  • Occasional travel for site observations and field measurements. 

 

Data Scientist of Geospatial & Agriculture Analytics 

Data Scientists use the latest analytical methods, incubate new technologies and drive innovative ways to develop new opportunities for their organization in an effort to make significant and lasting impact. These positions are often found in departments that advise clients from agribusiness, consumer food, government, and investment firms on strategic, marketing & sales, and operations issues that relate to global food production.  

Data Scientists come from a variety of backgrounds including crop science, agronomy, animal sciences, geography, GIS, computer science, ecology, mathematics, statistics, meteorology, environmental sciences, engineering, and econometrics. In addition to hard skills like Python and R programs, successful Data Scientists possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to develop creative and efficient solutions. 

 

Technology Developer 

Many AgTech firms are actively looking for Technology Developers to help them develop advanced techniques for monitoring, breeding, management, harvesting, and beyond. As a result, job vacancies for Technology Developers are broad in terms of their descriptions and requirements. The following bullet points come from the job posting of a global seed business interested in plant breeding, research, and gene science:  

  • Ensuring the development of new products or positioning in existing products, aiming to make the production feasible and improve the productive capacity; 
  • Monitoring the whole development process, from the small plot field trials through agronomic support with the customer; 
  • Creating promotional arguments on our products, with the aim of add value to sales and differentiate our company from its competitors and compiling information for the sales catalog and technical bulletins; 
  • Collaborating with Global and R&D partners to develop new future technologies, focusing on bringing market knowledge and trends to team; 
  • Supporting activities of formation and information of products for commercial channels and customers; 
  • Preparing information required for new product registration; 
  • Executing product development strategies, uniform assessment systems and adaptability of regional production strategies and varied geographies; 
  • Responsible for planting areas of the regional agricultural demos, together with sales and marketing departments (planting of demos, note taking, evaluations, and organization in general); 
  • Put all assessment data of the field materials in spreadsheets (history, controls for assessment, analyzes and comparisons) 
  • Responding to complaints for technical opinion purposes; 
  • Tabulating results generated by diffusion and sharing with Marketing and Sales departments. 

A successful Technology Developer can work in both independent and collaborative environments. They must have an interest in working in fast-paced ambiguous environments and developing skills for problem solving and project management. 

 

Climate Change Analyst 

As the impact of Climate Change becomes increasingly obvious, AgTech has seen a growth in positions for Climate Change or Sustainability Analysts. These positions are opening in both the public and private sectors for businesses of all sizes. Analysts often deal with the major issues of food security and climate change, but they may also be responsible for forecasting future trends and preparing companies for legislation or policy changes. A job description for Climate Change Analyst may contain the following:  

  • Study climate conditions over a period of time, 
  • Review papers and publications that are related to climate, 
  • Write grant proposals in order to further research on climate change and environmental stewardship, 
  • Follow local, state and federal legislation and discussion regarding energy and climate change, 
  • Utilize mathematical models and data to predict future climate, 
  • Collaborate with scientist who are gating climate data, 
  • Determine how to use data and predictions to make recommendations for environmental practices, 
  • Propose new policies in regard to alternative fuels, transportation and other factors related to climate change, 
  • Communicate findings on climate change to the public, 
  • Develop educational and outreach programs on climate change, and 
  • Use predictions made to lobby for or against legislation.  

  

If you have any questions or want to know more about VISTA+ and the growing AgTech Sector in the US Virgin Islands contact [email protected]. 

 

To learn more about our Tech Village Sustainable Agriculture project, visit: https://www.uvirtpark.net/techvillage