All students take core courses in sustainable agriculture, soil science, animal science, horticulture, business management, international agriculture, and integrated pest management, and gain practical experience by completing an internship for academic credit. The requirement to select one or more concentration areas encourages students to become experts in the area of agriculture that is most exciting to them.
The Animal Science concentration focuses on the biology, nutrition, and management of farm animals. Courses in this concentration are selected to complement the collective agricultural skills gained from the major core requirements. There are additional courses in dairy, swine, sheep, and poultry management. Interested students may choose to become involved with Cornell's extensive dairy management program, including hands-on educational facilities on campus and a nearby teaching and research center. This concentration will prepare students for careers with animal agriculture operations.
Students concentrating in Business have many options for specialization from food, to finance, business management, or policy. All students take foundational courses in accounting, finance, and marketing, in addition to the introductory business management course required of all Ag Sciences graduates. This concentration aligns well with related minors and many relevant opportunities.
Crop Production and Management
The Crop Production and Management concentration aims to strengthen the student's knowledge and skills in the production and management of crop systems, including the use of both organic and conventional methods. Within the concentration, students take courses in field crops, horticulture, pest management, and soil science. Students can learn the importance of weed management, the principles of vegetable production, nutrient cycling in cropping systems, and how to calculate returns on different management systems. This concentration encourages students to learn more about how to overcome environmental stresses such as drought, cold, and weeds in cropping systems and to develop pest control methods that are sustainable and do not harm the ecosystem.
Education and Communication
Students concentrating in Education and Communication explore individual interests pursuing coursework of at least 12 credits in alignment with associated minors. This concentration offers exceptional flexibility. Those considering formal or nonformal teaching with Cooperative Extension, non-profit organizations, or in secondary education will work with an advisor to plan for the Education minor. Those considering work in publishing, public relations, or other communication fields will work with an advisor to plan for the Communication minor.
Students in this concentration will learn about the philosophy and regulations involved with certified organic crop production and will learn practical ways of growing crops and managing pests using organic methods. Course requirements include three set foundation courses and one choice course. Students often gain farm experience on campus through Dilmun Hill Student Farm and also through bountiful production internships. Graduates have gone on to work in farm ownership and management, graduates studies, as well as in the non-profit sector.
Sustainable Agriculture generally refers to land management practices designed to provide goods and services over time while maintaining natural resources for the future. Sustainable practices encompass the entire ecological system, including both social and biological conditions, in order to understand and develop holistic management plans. This concentration allows students to combine interests in environmental and social studies with current topics in agriculture such as organic farming practices, local food initiatives, farm workers' rights, energy sources, and farm policy. Graduates from this concentration have the skills to work in a range of related fields such as sustainable education, immigration rights, social activism, farm management, environmental studies, and agricultural policy.