Ag 101: College Degrees in Agriculture

You probably already know that agriculture reaches far beyond farming and ranching. But did you know the vast extent of career opportunities it has? Colleges and universities around the nation offer agricultural degree programs in many specialized areas of study, so you can find an agricultural degree program that closely matches your interests.

Those who yearn for wide-open spaces might consider studying ranch management at Texas A&M University, while airplane aficionados (think aerial applicators) can consider majoring in aviation technology at Utah State University. Food science majors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison can learn about candy-making in a confectionery technology course, while North Dakota State University offers a graduate course in cereal and grain science. Have a soft spot for pets? The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a bachelor of science degree in food technology for companion animals – the first academic program of its kind.

Read on for more cool college degree programs, and use to research careers in each area of study.

Washington State University: Organic Agriculture Systems

Washington State University is helping agriculture keep up with the growing demand for organic foods by offering a major in organic agriculture systems. The first of its kind in the United States, this new major gives students hands-on experience at WSU’s 4-acre, certified organic teaching farm. Students produce organic fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers, then distribute them to food banks, on campus food service and the local farmers market.

Kansas State University: Milling Science

All those bags of flour in the baking aisle of your local supermarket didn’t happen by chance. There’s a complex science behind flour milling, and students in Kansas State University’s milling science and management program learn all about the art and business behind it. Students with a degree in milling science often go on to work in high-paying careers at major milling and grain companies such as General Mills and Sara Lee.

Kentucky State University: Aquaculture/Aquatic Science

Interested in fish and shrimp farming? Kentucky State University Division of Aquaculture offers students the opportunity to minor in aquaculture/aquatic science and even get a master of science degree in aquaculture/ aquatic science. Students can dive into classes on water quality, reproduction, fish disease, aquaculture nutrition and more.

Middle Tennessee State University: Horse Science

Do you love horses? Middle Tennessee State University has a degree program in horse science with its own Horse Science Center, complete with an equine reproduction lab, teaching arena, heated barn and outdoor jump course. A degree in horse science could lead to a career as a horse trainer, riding teacher, barn manager, veterinarian or dozens of other jobs that support the horse industry.

Florida Southern College: Citrus and Horticulture Science

Could you picture yourself growing oranges? How about lemons? Florida Southern College’s citrus and horticultural science program is the only one of its kind in the country and gives students hands on experience with on-campus citrus trees. Courses include citrus grove management and citrus pest and disease management. Florida Southern’s citrus program is widely known in the industry and often welcomes guest speakers. Now that’s sweet!