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Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) pathway involves careers in the planning, implementation, production, management, and processing of agricultural commodities and services. This Youth Apprenticeship occupational area focuses on four pathways within the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources industry:
Agricultural duties vary widely from raising plants and livestock to operating large equipment to caring for companion animals. Natural Resources jobs involve working directly with the natural environment including air, water, and land.
Students can choose between four different occupational areas with options to specific pathways.
Careers in the Animal Systems pathway vary from breeding, raising, and processing animals and animal products to the care and feeding of all sorts of animals. There are three pathways to choose from:
Students who work in the Plant Systems pathway study all types of plants and their growth. They are the producers of the food, feed, fiber, and landscaping crops meant to support a growing population, while conserving natural resources and maintaining the environment. There are four pathways to choose from:
The Environmental Systems pathway includes occupations involved in water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. There are two pathways to choose from:
Agricultural and farm equipment mechanics are responsible for the maintenance, repair, and installation of machines that increase the efficiency of farming activities, such as planting, harvesting, and irrigating crops. Agricultural mechanics also service and repair smaller lawn and garden equipment operated by suburban homeowners. Another occupation in this pathway is a parts specialist who uses sales and customer service skills to assist internal and external clients with parts management, marketing, and equipment maintenance. There are two pathways to choose from:
Below are some examples of careers in each pathway and their mean wages. Visit the Occupational Employer Statistics page to find average wages for a specific occupation not listed.
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians: Average $39,730
Animal Breeders: Average $40,060
Biological Scientists: Average $73,520
Chemical Engineers: Average $92,310
Database Administrators: Average $84,990
Environmental Engineering: Average $54,480
The Department of Workforce Development recommends taking the following courses:
Classroom instruction may be offered by qualified instructors within the school district, at another school district, a Wisconsin Technical College, a University, through virtual/online learning, or by the employer.
This list is not exhaustive but gives an idea of the types of classes a student needs to take for success in this field. Regional Coordinators can help with finding courses that are best for the chosen pathway and will inform students on the related instruction for each pathway. DWD also recommends outside activities/clubs for an enhanced experience such as:
Get started by talking to a school counselor, Youth Apprenticeship Local Coordinator, or Regional Coordinator about how to apply and obtain career materials (plans of study). Contact DWD Youth Apprenticeship Staff for general or statewide program information.
Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (AFNR) Occupational Pathway