A Psychological Perspective on Careers in Agriculture

Peter McIlveen, Nicole McDonald

An increasing demand for food for a growing world population, degradation of arable land and waters, increasing technological sophistication, and a shrinking work force are a dynamic mix of factors that influence the supply of workers who are vital to the world’s agricultural industries. For nearly a half century, psychology has given relatively little to agriculture by way of its research and practices. We suggest three conceptual frameworks to inform a «vocational psychology of agriculture» with the aim of better attracting and retaining workers in agricultural industries and within industries that indirectly contribute to and benefit from agriculture. To that end, we conclude with an overview of research program.


Agriculture, systems theory framework, psychology of working, social cognitive career theory, sustainable developmentx.