Have you ever wondered what a career in agriculture might look like? Cooperatives offer many career opportunities, maybe even ones you might not think of. Take a deeper dive into a career that is offered by an agricultural cooperative and grow more.
Aaron | NEBRASKA
Aaron works at a cooperative in Nebraska and shares what his experience working as an applicator at the co-op is like.
WHAT DOES AN APPLICATOR DO?
An applicator’s job is to correctly apply fertilizer, pesticide or fungicide on a field. This means you are responsible for loading your machine, measuring chemicals, understanding chemical rates and usage, and correctly applying the right amounts to the right fields.
Describe what your day looks like:
My day starts by doing a safety check of my machine. I check all fluids, look for any leaks or wear spots, gather paperwork and load the machine before I head out to start spraying. I work closely with a team of dispatch and tender drivers to make sure I work efficiently and accurately. Communication is important so everyone is on the same page and the correct fields are applied with the correct products. At the end of the day, I head back to the cooperative, make any repairs that are needed, and get ready to go again the next day.
Why did you choose this career?
I knew I wanted to find a job in agriculture because those jobs would be there for the long-haul as we are always going to need farmers and a system to support agriculture. I was attracted to working for a cooperative because of their retirement plans, benefits package, health insurance and paid time off.
What’s something you know about the industry now that you didn’t when you started?
The use of technology in agriculture is really fascinating. Farmers are adapting more technology and really working on becoming more sustainable as they have to continue to feed more people with the same amount of land. From soil sampling to creating variable rate applications, the focus has really become to put the correct nutrients where they are needed instead of covering an entire field. And it’s through technology that they are able to get the most production out of the ground while creating the highest return on investment.
Take a look at actual job openings at one of the largest agricultural cooperatives in the Midwest, Central Valley Ag, to see if there are any jobs that interest you.