Please wait...

What is a Farming Career Lattice?


Unlike many other careers where the path is fairly chronological (schooling followed by more training, possibly an apprenticeship, certification of some sort, entry-level employment and up the ladder), the path into and through farming is complex and variable. Some farmers begin to learn farming skills as children. Others pursue farming alongside another career. Successful farmers acquire their skills and resources in a variety of ways and sequences, suggesting more of a career lattice than a ladder. Successful farmers need to pass through critical steps in the lattice, but the sequencing is idiosyncratic.

Also, there are different manifestations of farming careers -- farm operators and farm employees; part time and full time farmers; primary occupation and secondary occupation farmers. Another important concept is the farming career cycle which moves from "new" farmer to established farmer to exiting and finally retired. These stages in the cycle have important implications for farm entry and farm succession. To learn more about "farming careers" check Exploring the Concept of Farming Career Paths.