In winter i find whatever job is available. I put out applications and usually end up in some retail store spending half my pay on clothes I dont need. Come summer however, I'm an Orchard Scout. It's by far the best job i have ever had. What is an Orchard Scout you may ask. Well, it's simple really. I drive around looking at orchards for insects and plant diseases. My boss and I begin early each day making the rounds to our 20 clients.
All of our farmers grow cherries, apples, pears, peaches, wine grapes, nectarines, strawberries, blackberries, plumbs, apricots, and a few other things. The primary crops are apples and cherries though. Michigan is known for its apple and cherry industy and is quickly becoming a great place for wine as well.
Every week we do the same rotation hitting the same farms around the same times each day of the week. My boss does his blocks and i hit mine, jumping in and out of the car to inspect small samples of the fruits and trees. We determine pest and disease levels in the orchards. My boss is an expert on the subject of pesticides and the like. He consults closely with the farmers to give them the appropriate treatment applications for all of the problems they may face.
Orchard scouting and consulting is a great way for the farmer to use less spray on crops. They are informed of the health of the orchards and do not need to spray if there isn't a problem or that the problem is not severe enough. It also helps to prevent resistance. When one treatment is used frequently it may become ineffective. Alternating treatments is key to keep orchards healthy.
Its not a common proffesion but its definitely an enjoyable one.