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Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Agricultural and Food Scientists perform experiments and analyze data about crops and food production methods. These scientists may also use their findings to create new and innovative ways to increase agricultural output or improve the quality of our food supply. Sometimes this work involves traveling to farms and other specific sites to obtain samples. They must then communicate their findings and prospective solutions to other members of the scientific community and sometimes policy-makers as well. More experienced Agricultural and Food Scientists may lead and coordinate an entire team of researchers.

Technicians work in a variety of settings including offices, laboratories, and in processing plants. 

Role of Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Agricultural technicians typically do the following:

  • Follow protocols to prepare, analyze, and store crop or animal samples properly
  • Examine animals and other specimens to determine the presence of diseases or other problems
  • Measure ingredients used in testing or animal feed and other purposes
  • Compile and analyze test results that go into charts, presentations, and reports
  • Prepare and operate complex equipment to do laboratory tests

Food science technicians typically do the following:

  • Prepare samples following established procedures
  • Test food, food additives, and food containers to ensure they comply with established safety standards
  • Help food scientists with food research, development, and quality control
  • Analyze chemical properties of food to determine ingredients and formulas
  • Compile and analyze test results that go into charts, presentations, and reports
  • Keep a safe, sterile laboratory environment

Skills of Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Academic Qualification: Bachelor's degree in agricultural or food science. Bachelor of Science in Food Science programs.

Precision & Accuracy skills: Agricultural and food science technicians must conduct a variety of observations and on-site measurements, all of which require precision and accuracy.

Critical-thinking skills: Agricultural and food science technicians reach conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment. They determine how to improve food quality and must test products for a variety of safety standards.

Interpersonal skills: Agricultural and food science technicians need to work well with others, supervise agricultural and food science workers and receive instruction from scientists or specialists, so effective communication is critical.

Listening skills: Agricultural and food science technicians must follow instructions given to them by food scientists and agricultural engineers.

Speaking skills: Agricultural and food science technicians must give clear instructions to field and laboratory workers, who typically perform the tasks necessary for food quality testing.

Where Does an Agricultural Food Scientist Work?

Agricultural and Food Scientists spend the majority of their days in laboratories and offices. Their time is spend analyzing data and creating detailed reports using advanced computer software. At times, these scientists may be required to perform fieldwork that requires them to travel to a farm or food processing plant. These trips may involve carefully following safety procedures, working in adverse weather conditions, or dealing with loud noises from heavy machinery.

Work Schedule

Technicians who work in processing plants may face unpleasant working conditions, such as noise from processing machinery.

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