Overall employment is projected to decline, reflecting the decline of self-employed farmers because of the consolidation of farms and increasing productivity; however, employment of salaried agricultural managers is expected to increase.
Because of rapid changes in the industry, farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers need to stay informed about continuing advances in agricultural methods, both in the United States and abroad. They need to monitor changes in governmental regulations that may affect production methods or markets for particular crops. Agricultural managers can enhance their professional status through voluntary certification as an Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Accreditation requires several years of farm management experience, the appropriate academic background ? a bachelor's degree or, preferably, a master's degree in a field of agricultural science ? and passing courses and examinations related to the business, financial and legal aspects of farm and ranch management.