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Division of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mayo Building, M-9
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800
(850) 617-7300

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner


Geneticists improve the efficiency of production and quality of food and fiber products. Forest geneticists improve tree production. Animal geneticists improve the quality and quantity of milk, meat, and fiber (wool) production. Plant breeders develop improved varieties of grains, fruits, vegetables, grapes, nuts, and other plants. Fish geneticists increase food production from fish. Geneticists who are also molecular biologists (biotechnologists) work directly with genes to develop superior see and animal germplasm.

Private corporations hire geneticists to develop such things as new seeds and new varieties of fruit trees, vegetables, grains, and trees. They also employ geneticists to improve breeds and strains of livestock, poultry, and fish. State universities, as well as state and federal agencies, hire geneticists in research, teaching, extension, and regulatory positions.

To be a geneticist, earn a bachelor's degree in animal science, biochemistry, agronomy, plant science, horticulture, poultry science, dairy science, forestry, or fisheries and wildlife. Genetics draws heavily from mathematics, biology, statistics, biochemistry, microbiology, and chemistry, so those courses are important. Graduate degrees can lead you to more sophisticated research and development positions.

In high school take as many courses in math, science, and English as possible. Also, take courses in computer science and communications.

-- John White, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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