Agriculture is and will remain a major industry in the nation as well as in California. There is a steady, continuing supply of professional managerial jobs for well-educated people in agriculture and natural resource management. In response to the quality of our programs and the career opportunities, the number of majors in the College of Agriculture continues to rise.
Individuals enrolled in the College of Agriculture receive theoretical knowledge and practical experience-both very necessary in becoming the future leaders of this important economic sector. Students learn through an integrated approach about the complex set of interrelationships between agriculture, the environment, political and social forces, and other sectors of the economy.
The BS in Agriculture covers agriscience and technology. Options are offered in agriscience and education; and crops, horticulture, and land resource management. State-of-the-art procedures reflect the science-based nature of agriculture and natural resource management in the 21st century. A student can choose either to concentrate in a single option or emphasize a broad overview. The program is designed for "hands-on" learning. A rigorous industry-based internship program, undergraduate research experiences and a variety of learning activities at the University Farm, also known as the Agricultural Teaching and Research Center, give this program its reputation for student-centered learning.
The BS in Agricultural Business provides students with an excellent and comprehensive background in business theory combined with a working knowledge of production agriculture. The Agricultural Teaching and Research Center, computer lab, and off-campus internships are available to provide valuable practical experience. The emphasis of this degree program is to prepare students for entry-level management positions. Specialized subject areas include agricultural marketing, agricultural finance and appraisal, and agricultural business management.
The BS in Animal Science prepares students for diverse careers involving all aspects of animal agriculture. Careers in animal production, allied industries, and pre-professional preparation for graduate studies are all possible directions for students obtaining this degree. Students interested in pre-veterinary medicine should pursue this degree. The degree emphasizes science-based study of animal production, including nutrition, health, reproduction, anatomy/physiology, genetics, and meat science. In addition, management level courses in several domestic animal species are offered. The degree curriculum delivers hands-on learning opportunities through its living laboratories at the Agricultural Teaching and Research Center's livestock facilities. Students who pursue this degree have the flexibility to follow one of the several different areas of study that directly prepare them for their career goals.
The MS in Agricultural Education seeks to meet the needs of today’s agricultural educators. The fully online program offers the opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in Agricultural Education while being employed full time. Graduate students can access graduate level work from respected faculty members across the nation through CSU, Chico’s participation in the AG*IDEA Consortium while completing Master’s coursework. We look forward to providing an innovative approach to address the challenge of time management and travel presented through a traditional graduate degree program. Courses include topics such as teacher pedagogy, research, communications, and leadership development.
Excellent agricultural facilities include 800 acres of irrigated farmland and approximately 240 acres of rangeland. A variety of crops are grown at the Agricultural Teaching and Research Center (University Farm). It has excellent orchards and croplands, and is stocked with many head of registered animals.
Barns, shops, greenhouses, orchards and laboratories at the University Farm, along with ample classrooms and well-equipped laboratories on the main campus, provide the student with a fine environment in which to study and learn about agriculture, natural resources and agricultural business management.
University Farm offers students the opportunity to obtain practical experience in many different areas of both plant and animal production systems. In addition, students have excellent opportunities to participate in funded applied agricultural research activities conducted by faculty and staff.
Career opportunities appear excellent. Federal reports indicate that in the 21st century there will be more professional job openings in the agricultural and natural resource management sectors than there will be qualified graduates to fill those positions. Some graduates in agriculture enter positions leading to management responsibilities on the farm or ranch, in industry, in business, in governmental land management and regulatory agencies, or in research and education.
Other agriculturists are finding employment in various agriculturally related careers such as purchasing, advertising, public relations, transportation, inspection, and market reporting. And still others have taken positions with agricultural cooperatives, food and dairy product companies, agrichemical manufacturing and sales companies, farm credit, and agricultural communications.
For today's commercial farmer and natural resource manager, a degree in agriculture provides the technical and business background necessary to keep up with rapid changes that are taking place within the agricultural industry. The professional areas of teaching, agricultural extension, rural development, and basic or applied research also attract many graduates.