The basic farming methods have not changed much since the Middle ages. The three field system is used by farmers the world over. There are some changes to the way the soil is plowed and how crops are grown, but the basics of farming remain the same. The farmer needs to plant and grow his crops, protect his crops and water his crops when the time comes. If he works on a dairy or meat farm, the methods used to collect milk or gather meat may change over time. More efficient methods of gathering dairy or slaughtering animals are developed all the time. Get more information here: http://envirowriters.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/research-draft-part-3/
Agriculture is not the mighty industry it once was, but farming will never go by the wayside. People need farms to bring them the bulk of the food that they eat. The more modern methods deal with environmentally friendly methods. Organic farming is one method that a farmer may use to keep his impact on the environment down, but the process used in creating organic foods results in the goods being more expensive.
A modern farmer needs to know about pesticides, fertilizers and run off. He also needs to know how to till the soil to prevent erosion. It does not hurt if he keeps his eye on the prices of grains. Corn may be more valuable as food commodity or it may be more valuable as ethanol.
Agriculture may not be the type of work most Americans want to do, but it is one industry that will always be in demand. People need food regardless of what the economic times are like. The farmer needs to know how to get it to the table efficiently. He may also want to check out the government subsidies that are available to him. Farming is hard work, but it still can be profitable.