This is the third post in our new series “I am Agriculture”, that showcases the many careers available to young people in agriculture. Today’s post comes from Xin Zhang, who studies the environmental impacts of agricultural production.
As a faculty member at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, I have been developing a non-traditional path in the field of agriculture. I do not cultivate crops or raise animals on a farm. Instead, I study the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of agricultural production and identify strategies to make agricultural production more efficient, sustainable, and resilient. I am not the greatest caretaker of plants; however, I have harnessed my skills in navigating through massive datasets and designing measurements or models to solve issues concerned with agricultural production, on both the farm and national scales. Nevertheless, as part of the solutions to the challenge of farming the planet more sustainably, I consider myself pursuing a career in agriculture, and I would like to encourage more young talents to join the force.