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Career opportunities

One of the Best Fields for New College Graduates? Agriculture.

USDA news release [2015-05-11]

Nearly 60,000 High-Skilled Agriculture Job Openings Expected Annually in U.S., Yet Only 35,000 Graduates Available to Fill Them

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report showing tremendous demand for recent college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. According to an employment outlook report released today by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually.

“There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.”

The report projects almost half of the job opportunities will be in management and business. Another 27 percent will be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. Jobs in food and biomaterials production will make up 15 percent, and 12 percent of the openings will be in education, communication, and governmental services. The report also shows that women make up more than half of the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment higher education graduates in the United States.

Read the whole release.

Students in Principles of Vegetable Production class (HORT 3500) learn the ins and outs of more than a dozen tillage, planting and cultivation implements at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y.

Students in Principles of Vegetable Production class (HORT 3500) learn the ins and outs of more than a dozen tillage, planting and cultivation implements at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y.

Looking for an internship? Deadlines loom.

Know what you’ll be doing this summer? If you’re looking for some great career-related, hands-on experience, now is the time to be pinning down that summer internship that matches your interests. Here are some Cornell-related opportunities of horticultural interest (and their application deadline):

Find more opportunities — on farms, in greenhouses and labs, at public gardens and more, in Ithaca and around the world —  on the Horticulture internships blog.

Cornell Orchards offers summer internships


Cornell Orchards internships provide:

  • Research experience (field and lab)
  • Hands-on field experience (grapes, apples, peaches, berries)
  • Opportunities to interact closely with Cornell pomology faculty
  • Opportunities to interact with local vineyards and orchards

Pay:  $11/hour

Internships are for Cornell students only, and are designed for students with an interest in fruit crop production and physiology.

To apply, send resume and contact information for two references to: Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel:


NYSAES Summer Research Scholars Program now accepting applications

Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York offers a Summer Research Scholars Program where undergraduate students can participate in exciting research projects in one of four disciplines including; Entomology,Food ScienceHorticulture, and Plant Pathology/Plant-Microbe Biology.

The student interns will have the opportunity to work with faculty, their graduate students, postdocs, and staff on research projects that can be laboratory or field-based.

The submission deadline for all application related material is February 13, 2015.

More information.

Find more internship opportunities on the Horticulture Internship blog.

Career opportunity: Assistant/Associate Professor of Sustainable Fruit Production

We’re we’re looking for a talented individual Assistant/Associate Professor of Sustainable Fruit Production (60% research, 40% teaching).

The candidate is expected to develop and direct an externally-funded, nationally-recognized research program on deciduous fruit production systems with emphasis on understanding interactions between the fruiting plant, management practices, and ecosystems, and applying this knowledge to improve the sustainability of fruit crop production systems.

While the candidate can conduct research within any relevant fruit production system, sufficient expertise in tree fruit systems is expected to enable the candidate to teach both Ecological Orchard Management and Fruit Crop Physiology, and to develop an additional course to be offered to support the plant science curriculum. Participation in curriculum development, student recruitment, and undergraduate and graduate student advising will be a component of the teaching responsibility.

Application review begins August 1, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Full position description and application instructions.

Summer opportunities at Dilmun Hill, Freeville

Dilmun harvestFor Cornell undergrads looking to spend their summer immersed in sustainable agriculture on campus, the Dilmun Hill student-run organic farm has a few opportunities to choose from. For those interested in summer employment with a leadership component, Dilmun Hill is now accepting applications for the market garden manager position for the 2014 season. The market garden manager is part of the team that will run the farm from spring to fall. Also sought are undergraduate researchers with interesting and original ideas for agricultural research projects to be conducted at Dilmun Hill.

Applications for both these opportunities are being accepted now through February 19.

Additionally, if you are a Cornell student looking for applied research experience in agriculture, passionate about small farms and interested in strategies to improve soil quality and reduce on-farm energy use, consider applying for a summer student research position.  Gain hands-on production and research experience. Help manage vegetable crops from planting to harvest. Learn plant and soil sampling methods and how to organize data and summarize results. Position is based at Cornell University, Ithaca campus and the HCT Vegetable Research Farm, Freeville. Daily transportation to the research farm will be provided. Application deadline is February 28.  More information.

Undergrad opportunities at Dilmun Hill this summer

2013 Dilmun Hill farmstand and crew

2013 Dilmun Hill farmstand and crew

From Betsy Leonard, Organic Farm Coordinator, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES):

Dilmun Hill, Cornell’s student-managed farm, is looking for undergraduate students to fill two positions this summer:

  • Market Garden Manager – The Market Garden Manager is in charge of the vegetable production and sales at Dilmun Hill. Managers are hired in late winter and are expected to participate in farm operations for the next year and a half. Throughout their term Market Garden Managers perform a wide variety of tasks, with the simultaneous expectation of communicating effectively between the other managers, staff, and the general Dilmun Hill community. Download position description/application.
  • Student Researcher – If you have a cool idea for an agricultural research project you want to conduct at Dilmun Hill, this position is for you. If you don’t know where to start, please ask us and we can help you make connections with faculty. Download position description/application.

Applications are due February 12th. Please download (links above) and submit your application to Betsy Leonard ( by midnight on February 12 2014 to be considered.

Cornell Small Farms Program Internship

Cornell Small Farms Program logoThe Cornell Small Farms Program is accepting applications for a 2014 Student Intern for summer employment. The application deadline is January 28th, 2014.


The applicant must have strong writing, editing, and organizational skills. Must have some background in farming and an enthusiasm for learning more about small farms in NY. Must be comfortable learning to use computer programs such as WordPress, Constant Contact, Excel, Google Forms, Google Analytics, & Qualtrics Survey Tool. Please note: This position is for a Cornell undergraduate, continuing student.

Major Projects:

  • Farmer Profiles. Complete 4-6 profiles of farmers/educators/researchers that have participated in sustainable agriculture research or sustainable farm energy innovations.
  • Small Farms Update. Compile and publish the Small Farms bimonthly newsletter.
  • Small Farm Quarterly. Provide production assistance for the seasonal Small Farm Quarterly Magazine. This magazine reaches 17,000 readers across the Northeast.
  • Social Media & Communications. Manage Small Farms and Beginning Farmers Facebook & Twitter accounts. Respond to public inquires via phone, email and Small Farms blog.
  • Website Content & Revision. Manage content at and

Special projects:

The 2014 internship may also include production assistance with a new ebook on wholesale markets for the small farmer or other special projects to be announced.

This position is offered at 30 hours/week. Position is based in 15A Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus. Stipend is $10/hour. Position runs from late May 2014 to late August 2014.

*An additional 8 hours of field work at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, NY may be available to bring the position to full time.

To learn more about the Cornell Small Farms Program, visit

To apply, send short letter of interest, resume, and casual writing sample to Violet Stone at

Cornell Orchards internships

Internship poster

Click image for poster.

If you’re a Cornell student with an interest in fruit crop production and physiology, a new internship program at Cornell Orchards could be a great career stepping stone.

Internships run May 29 to August 15 and pay pay $11 an hour. Benefits include:

  • Research experience (field and lab)
  • Hands-on field experience (grapes, apples, peaches, berries)
  • Opportunities to interact closely with Cornell pomology faculty
  • Opportunities to interact with local vineyards and orchards

Application deadline is February 14, 2014

Interested? Send resume and names of three references to: Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel,

Wanted: Dilmun Hill student market garden managers

From Betsy Leonard, CUAES organic farming coordinator

Have you ever wanted to grow vegetables, have an awesome summer job, and take on a leading role at Dilmun Hill, Cornell University’s student organic farm? This is your opportunity! We are now accepting applicants for market garden managers for the 2013 season.

The market garden managers are part of the team of students that will run the farm during the summer and fall.

Market garden managers are full-time paid positions over the summer and and part time into the fall semester. They also coordinate a wonderful group of volunteers. All Cornell undergraduates, who will still be enrolled next year are eligible for the position. To apply, please complete the written application and the questionnaire below and send them to Betsy Leonard by January 30.

Manager application (docx)

Manager application questionnaire (docx)

Don't miss the bus!  Apply for student market garden manager today.

Don’t miss the bus! Apply for student market garden manager today.