A.J. Hood is a Farm Manager from Southeast Arkansas. He grew up there. The proud graduate of McGehee high school went to the University of Arkansas at Monticello and majored in animal science. After, he earned his master’s in agriculture regulation. Now, he manages a large farm in Tillar, Arkansas, working with 11 different growers to ensure efficiency and profitability across the farm.
A.J.’s education and expertise in agriculture have provided a solid foundation for his management practices. He manages a fertilizer company, an aerial application service and a grain storage facility. Research is also an important aspect of A.J.’s job. His team does weed research, entomology research, whatever it takes to grow successfully.
“Here on the farm, we do a lot of research. A lot of what we do is with the university,” he said. “We are constantly evolving, trying to find the best management practices.”
Part of that includes the implementation of solar power to operate the grain facility. Hood and his team conducted an analysis of the farm’s electric costs, and they gained a new perspective on energy input. The solar panels have provided substantial savings.
The grain facility runs only four months out of the year. The solar panels, however, are working year-round. This means, by using the grid system, the solar panels can be used as a solid backup, and even service the local community.
“It’s really been a benefit for everybody,” he said. “I think it’s going to be as practical on every farm as a tractor.”
Think you have a future in agriculture? Hood sees a lot of possibility and potential for the upcoming generation of students. Working in agriculture doesn’t necessarily require being on a farm. Things like solar energy, GPS systems and new technologies are “key assets to the farm,” he said. “Agriculture is more than “just planting a seed and riding a tractor.”
To learn more about career opportunities in agriculture, click here.
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