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Agricultural/Food Scientist I


Junior (entry-level) agricultural/food scientist.  Works to ensure that agricultural establishments are productive and food is safe.  Works under immediate supervision.  Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.  Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment.  Does not modify existing procedures or develop novel procedures.  Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.  Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.  Has no supervisory responsibility.

Animal Scientists.  Conduct research in the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domestic farm animals.

Food Scientists & Technologists.  Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

Soil & Plant Scientists.  Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth.  May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description.  These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

  • Study nutritional requirements of animals and nutritive values of animal feed materials
  • Study effects of management practices, processing methods, feed, or environmental conditions on quality and quantity of animal products, such as eggs and milk
  • Study the structure and composition of food, the changes foods undergo in storage and processing, and methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience
  • Study soil characteristics to classify soils on the basis of factors such as geographic location, landscape position, or soil properties
  • Identify or classify species of insects or allied forms; study insect distribution or habitat and recommend methods to prevent importation or spread of injurious species
  • Study ways to improve agricultural sustainability, such as the use of new methods of composting
  • Help conduct research concerning animal nutrition, breeding, or management to improve products or processes; research and control animal selection and breeding practices to increase production efficiency and improve animal quality; determine genetic composition of animal populations and heritability of traits using principles of genetics; crossbreed animals with existing strains or cross strains to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics
  • Conduct experiments in accordance with instructions and pre-established guidelines to help develop new or improved varieties of field crops, focusing on characteristics such as yield, quality, disease resistance, nutritional value, or adaptation to specific soils or climates
  • Conduct experiments in accordance with instructions and pre-established guidelines investigating how soil forms, changes, or interacts with land-based ecosystems or living organisms; investigate responses of soils to specific management practices to determine the use capabilities of soils and the effects of alternative practices on soil productivity and the environment; investigate soil problems or poor water quality to determine sources and effects; perform chemical analyses of the microorganism content of soils to determine microbial reactions or chemical mineralogical relationships to plant growth
  • Help conduct research to determine best methods of planting, spraying, cultivating, harvesting, storing, processing, or transporting horticultural products
  • Conduct experiments in accordance with instructions and pre-established guidelines regarding causes of bee diseases or factors affecting yields of nectar or pollen
  • Help conduct research into the use of plant species as green fuels or in the production of green fuels; research technical requirements or environmental impacts of urban green spaces, such as green roof installations
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards; evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations
  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value
  • Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards
  • Help search for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites
  • Communicate research findings or project results to supervisor
  • Help provide information or recommendations to farmers or other landowners regarding ways in which they can best use land, promote plant growth, or avoid or correct problems such as erosion
  • Help survey undisturbed or disturbed lands for classification, inventory, mapping, environmental impact assessments, environmental protection planning, conservation planning, or reclamation planning
  • Identify degraded or contaminated soils
  • Participate in land conservation or reclamation programs for industrial development projects or waste management programs for composting or farming

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, biology, or a closely related field; no experience required

Licensure and Certification



This position does not typically have supervisory responsibility.

To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.