Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood in the fields of agriculture, food, and natural resources can show you the wide variety of careers available.

Put yourself on the path to achieving your goals. Learn about jobs including: mapping technician, gaming officer, grounds manager, diesel mechanic, veterinary technician, landscape architect, agriculture/seed production sales associate, and environmental specialist.

  1. Review the group and individual job shadow opportunities available below and select your top two choices. Note: Your choices can be from two different industry categories.
  2. Review the application instructions.
  3. Start your application.

Group Job Shadows

Group job shadows offer a great introduction to specific career fields and allow you to explore a broad scope of careers within that industry, all in one shadow experience. Group job shadows are a great option for initial exploration of a specific career or industry. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Animal Science and Production Day: C&R Pork Farms, Iowa City

Learn details about what it takes to care for pigs and produce food products that will be consumed worldwide.  From conception to production, C & R Pork takes great pride in caring for their livestock properly. Learn about our modern facilities, animal welfare, biosecurity protocols and modern-day production practices. You will learn what it takes to raise and care for pigs from day 1 until they go to market. There are a variety of responsibilities on the farm. These careers range from animal caretaker to General Manager.  Due to safety and biosecurity protocols, no students will come in contact with live animals. All activities will be held in the main office of the farm. For students interested in the following careers: veterinarian, veterinary tech, animal caretaker, and farm manager.


Careers in Agriculture Day: Bayer, Williamsburg - VIRTUAL ONLY

Come experience a day of learning how careers in agriculture have an impact on the future of feeding the world. You will understand the educational requirements needed in the fields of agricultural research, seed manufacturing, and operational leadership

Discover more about our cutting-edge product developments from research to creating a final hybrid. If you are interested in crop science, supply chain manufacturing or people leadership, this would be a great opportunity for you!


Crop Science and Precision Farming Day: C&R Pork Farms, Iowa City

Learn details about what it takes to operate a row crop farm. Modern day agriculture is highly technical. We collect a large amount of data from our tractors, combines and other farm equipment. We use this data to help us make farming more sustainable, raise more crops and remain profitable. Modern day farming involves technology, people management, sustainable production practices, agronomy and business decisions. Come spend a day on the farm and learn what it takes to run a successful operation. For students interested in the following careers: agronomy, farm manager, ag mechanic, diesel mechanic, and heavy machinery operator.  Held Spring 2021.


*Veterinary Science Day: Kirkwood Main Campus, Cedar Rapids

Hosted by Kirkwood’s Animal Health Technology program, learn about careers as a veterinarian, veterinary technician, and veterinary assistant. Hear from students currently enrolled in the program, speak with a veterinarian and experience interactive rotations including animal examinations, dental, x-ray, lab, and surgery.



City of Fairfax Public Works Day: Fairfax

Interested in a hands on career where every day brings variety? Explore careers available within the Public Works Department. Public works is a broad category of infrastructure projects conducted by the government for health and safety, recreation and economic benefit for the greater community. Learn about the various jobs that make up a Public Works Department, including: water treatment and management, wastewater treatment and management, landscaping and ground maintenance, equipment maintenance, and general public works. Two locations will be visited during this shadow. Locations are 2 miles apart so students need to be able to transport themselves from one location to the other. 


Conservation Day: Johnson County Conservation, Oxford

Interested in Conservation, but not sure what career? Attend the exploration session from Johnson County Conservation Board.

Learn about career opportunities such as a conservationist, park ranger, environmental education and a natural resource manager (field botanist) all within the County Conservation Board. Finish the day by touring projects under way at the County Park.


Geology/Hydrogeology Day: Iowa Geological Survey, Coralville - VIRTUAL ONLY

Have you ever wondered where your drinking water comes from or why Iowa has so much limestone bedrock? The Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) employs scientists who work at the forefront of solving problems that are critical to the safety and prosperity of all Iowans. The IGS uses a variety of data sources and the latest technology to address issues related to the quality and quantity of groundwater, aggregate and mineral resources, geologic hazard mapping, and more. Meet IGS staff and learn about careers in the earth sciences and get a tour of the IGS Rock Library facility at the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Campus.


Jones County Conservation Exploration Day: Central Park Anamosa

Thinking about a career in Conservation?  Attend the Jones County Conservation Career Exploration Day and visit two Jones County Parks.  Find out what park rangers, environmental educators, natural resource managers, and conservation directors do on a daily basis.  Visit with staff at Jones County's Central Park.


*USDA Natural Resources Day, Anamosa

Do you like the outdoors and care about our environment? Here’s your opportunity to learn how district & resource conservationists, soil onservation technicians, soil scientists, civil engineers, and civil engineering technicians work to protect and preserve nature in partnership with landowners and farmers. You may get into the field to understand the important role of these careers, and hear about strategies for improving soil and water quality.


Well Drilling and Pump Services Day: Gingerich Well and Pump Service, Kalona

Are you looking for a career where you can be out and about, not tied to an office? Do you like to be hands-on? Are you looking for a career where you can gain on the job training? Discover what it means to have a career as a heavy equipment mechanic, a fabricator (welder), a drilling service provider (for water wells) and a pump service provider. Observe a drill rig and a pump rig in action. Plus, learn about wells, aquifers and the importance of groundwater preservation.


Individual/Small Group Job Shadow Opportunities

Individual/small group shadows allow for a deeper dive into specific careers, shadowing a professional(s) in that field. These small group shadows are perfect for those who are more confident in their career interests and have had some initial exposure to that career.

Shadows may be individualized or include a handful of students, depending on demand. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Careers to Shadow


Agriculture Sales

Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, chemistry and electronics normally obtained from at least two years of post-secondary education.


Investigate the growth, structure, development and other characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease, or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.

Precision Agriculture (GPS)

Apply geospatial technologies including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) to agricultural production or management activities such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps, or use remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests or weather.