Do you enjoy the following?
- Working with plants and soils in a predominately outdoor environment.
- Applying science to practical problems.
- Working with farmers, growers, and other professionals locally, nationally, and internationally.
- Playing an integral role in environmental decisions related to soil conservation, crop production, land use, water quality, or waste management.
- Contributing to the needs of present and future generations by providing healthy food while maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment.
- Experiencing an enjoyable and satisfying quality of life that comes from understanding the growth of plants and being a part of the process that provides the most basic of human needs - food.
Then crops and soils may be the right major. The central focus of crop and soil science is the production of food and fiber and understanding the resources used in that production. Crop and soil scientists use their natural curiosity and enthusiasm for science to help solve some of the toughest problems facing humanity: producing sufficient and affordable food for an increasing population and doing it in a way that protects and preserves our environment. Crop and soil scientists are also involved in protecting soil and water resources and preventing surface water and groundwater pollution.
Beyond the core courses, students choose courses within the following academic options:
- Crop Science, where the emphasis is on plants and their use to produce safe and affordable food for human consumption, feed for animals, and fiber and energy for everyday needs.
- Soil Science, which explores the diverse role of soils and provides knowledge for making economically and environmentally sustainable soil use and management decisions.
- Sustainable Agriculture, where students learn about economically viable agricultural systems that promote land productivity, energy efficiency, environmental stewardship and rural community viability.
Our facilities provide an environment for rich, hands-on learning experience and the possibility to participate in applied research projects. We have two laboratory farms, greenhouse, specialized teaching and research labs, the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River and bordering wetlands and natural areas flowing through campus. In addition:
- Faculty focus on teaching with specializations in plant breeding and genetics, traditional and organic crop production, weed control and integrated pest management, soil and water conservation, forages and pasture management, biotechnology, wetlands, and the role of soil in environmental protection.
- The program has long standing ties to and numerous internship opportunities with industry leaders and government agencies such as Pioneer Hi-Bred, Winfield Solutions, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- Students find opportunities for networking and professional development at the local, regional and national levels through participation in the Crops and Soils Club, Students in Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (SASES) and Intercollegiate Judging Teams.