Will Daniel’s cool job allows him to work outside, doing what he loves. Growing up on a farm in Lunenburg County, Daniel liked the land, growing plants, raising animals and being outside in any weather. Thanks to an Associate’s degree in Agribusiness from Southside Virginia Community College, he is able to do what he loves and love what he does as a Farm Supervisor for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
His job takes him to farms at correctional facilities in Nottoway, Lunenburg, Halifax and Dinwiddie. He teaches farming to offenders who make up the manpower to harvest and tend to the stock of beef cattle. There are greenhouses, an orchard, goats, cattle and gardens. The produce is sent to a Corrections Farmer’s Market and sold. Offenders also learn to grade and cull the produce and some items are consumed at the facilities.
“I grew up on a farm and I love outdoors and animals. This way, I can do this for my job with benefits,” he said.
Studying Agribusiness at SVCC broadened his horizons, Daniel said. He notes that he discovered a better understanding for growing crops, the business of farming and making a career out of what he learned. He added that farming has so many more levels than just growing vegetables, but notes the coursework for the degree fills in the blanks.
“Will's Farm Supervisor job encompasses aspects of the entire Agribusiness program - not just about the animals & plants, but managing people, making budgets and forecasts, too,” said Tom Scales, SVCC Associate Professor of Economics, Business and Agribusiness.
Most people, when they hear "agriculture," think about farming. Farming is at the heart of the agribusiness industry, but the farmers who actually produce food and fiber products for the United States make up only two percent of the population. Agribusiness, on the other hand, is the number one industry in the U.S. and employs nearly 20% of the population.
Agribusiness includes not only farm production, but also the many businesses and organizations that support and provide inputs to farmers. This input supply sector includes the businesses that provide seed, fertilizer, chemicals, feed, fencing, equipment, and other inputs to farmers. It also includes the financing sector, insurance, and services such as veterinary care. Agribusiness also includes the output-marketing sector as well.