Agriculture, Water & Environmental Technology


Deputy Sector Navigator- Heather Kelnhofer 

Office: 530-242-7636






Most people think agriculture is farming or ranching. However, modern agriculture encompasses much more. Agriculture and agricultural sciences touch every aspect of American society from the individual consumer’s health and safety to the nation’s welfare, security, and environmental sustainability. Agricultural activities are broken down into four specific clusters within the sector, as follows:
 Agriculture Support: activities related to agriculture including: veterinary services, equipment operators/mechanics, forest & conservation workers, and pest control.
 Agriculture Production: production processes are specific to the commodity, but include crop, vegetable and animal farming, poultry & egg production, and aquaculture.
 Agriculture Wholesale Trade: all activities related to the sale, administration, operation, management, production, and support of wholesale endeavors within the agriculture sector.
 Agriculture Water and Environmental Services: services related to water treatment and environmental planning including: irrigation, hazardous materials workers, septic servicers/cleaners, inspectors, and environmental science
and protection technicians.


Agriculture is the world’s largest economic sector. On a worldwide basis, more people are involved in agriculture than in all other occupations combined. Agriculture in California is an essential part of the state’s economy. In addition to the direct impacts, agricultural research is fueling innovation in many parts of the economy not generally associated with agriculture, such as energy, electronics, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Each year, billions of dollars in products are created in California alone. Combining the necessity of agriculture and the growth in innovation within the sector, including potentially harnessing biofuels, agriculture will continue to play an increasingly integral part of California’s economy.

Quick facts about agriculture
 22,731 companies operate in the agriculture sector within California alone.
 Agriculture accounts for over 1.5 million jobs in California.
 The agriculture sector generated over $69.7 billion in revenue in 2010.
 By the year 2014, the agriculture sector is forecasted to add over 2,000 new jobs.
 Annual wages for all industries within the agriculture sector in 2011 averaged $40,000;
agriculture wholesale trade and agriculture water & environmental services clusters far outperformed the average annual wages within the sector as a whole.


The agriculture sector continues to be one of adaptation and innovation. As population rises and resources become more limited, the sector continues to find ways to produce crops more efficiently, create cleaner and healthier farming methods, and promote the importance of a relationship between human and environment:
 Continued innovation requires the use of a number of different types of skilled employees ranging from analyst, computer support specialist, technicians, and potentially scientist to continue pioneering research and development.
 As environmental concerns over farming practices become more prevalent, it becomes more important to educate and make available skilled workers within the agriculture water and environmental services cluster to help consult and properly manage potential environmental pitfalls.
 Programs such as “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” are making available 20,000 new jobs for America’s youth to promote concepts such as conservation and a respect for nature and are indicative of the changing landscape between humans and the environment. Programs such as this represent an increasing commitment to creating jobs in agriculture with a focus on environmentalism.