Agricultural biotechnology

Biotechnology is used in many ways in agriculture. Agricultural biotechnology companies work to supply farmers with tools to increase the yield of plant and animal products, while lowering the costs of production. 

Agricultural biotechnology can also include production of plants such as orchids for ornamental purposes and plants that can be used for fuel production (biofuels).

To accomplish these goals, biotechnologists develop products to protect animals and crops from disease and help farmers identify the best animals and seeds to use in selective breeding programs. For example, a commercial fish farm might raise fish like salmon, tilapia, or catfish.  If the fish were infected by certain viruses, the fish would die and the farm would lose money.  To prevent infections, fish farmers use vaccines, developed through biotechnology.

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Animal technicians take care of the laboratory animals that are used in biotechnology research, veterinary research, and product testing. Laboratory animals play an important role in helping scientists understand how drugs behave in a biological system.

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Biofuel technicians carry out the laboratory work involved in producing biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Biofuel technicians work with fermenters, distillation, grain preparation, algae culture, oil chemistry, and separations technology.

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These positions are for people who like to work with plants, enjoy being more outdoors, but also like to understand science.  They care for plants that have been created through genetic engineering and have to understand how to plant seeds, pollinate flowers, water and weed plant beds, plant ... Read more

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Careers for Community College graduates in aquaculture and marine biosciences. Aquaculture includes growing alligators, catfish, bait, clams, seahorses, and a wide variety of organisms.

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Dallas Hanks, a graduate student at Utah State University, and Bioenergy Agronomist with Blue Cow, Inc., tells us about growing non-traditional crops for biofuels.

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Students travel to biotechnology centers in North Carolina to learn how biotechnology can help solve global problems.

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