Astrosurveying agents are rather bloodthirsty; they'll send you on combat missions more often than not.
If you want to see the list of agents you can use, open the map, make sure you're looking at the entire galaxy, and then under display settings find the selection that shows "My Agents." Unless they've messed with something, that will show you every single agent in the galaxy you can use. Just hover over a star to see the agent's details.
You get a free rookie ship if you dock in a station you don't have ships in. You'll tend to get torn apart in kill missions without a halfway decent ship. If you want to give the FAR more lucrative combat missions a try, get yourself a Tristan and toss two 125mm railguns and two standard missile launchers onto it. Or blasters and rocket launchers. Or an Incursus. Use combat frigates for combat missions, or you're gonna get toasted.