Ag degrees

Photo by Virginia Tech/Jim Stroup

Virginia State University (VSU) and Virginia Tech are offering top-notch ag degree programs that provide ample opportunities for hands-on learning, research and participation in student organizations.

For example, the VSU College of Agriculture includes majors in areas like animal science, agriculture education, and plant soil and environmental science. Students can take advantage of the many opportunities available at VSU’s Randolph Farm – a 416-acre agricultural learning center that has 130 acres of irrigated cropland, 18,500 square feet of greenhouses and high tunnels, 57 research and instruction ponds stocked with fish species, and much more.

VSU’s College of Agriculture also connects students with valuable internships and provides ways for students to get involved with national organizations such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

“The VSU College of Agriculture offers students a nurturing and personalized educational experience in small classroom sizes,” says Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean/Extension program administrator of the VSU College of Agriculture. “Students navigate a comprehensive curriculum that enables them to learn information related not only to their major, but also to their specialized concentration of study. Our goal is to provide them the ultimate educational experience within their majors, reinforced by positive interactive learning and diversified employment opportunities upon graduation.”

At Virginia Tech, students can earn bachelor’s degrees in majors such as animal and poultry sciences, dairy science and environmental horticulture, and the school offers a two-year Agricultural Technology Program in which students can specialize in applied agricultural management or landscape and turf management.

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In addition, the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a variety of learning opportunities at their College Farm Operation, which covers a total of 3,000 acres with plant science plot research, livestock grazing and forage research, as well as wildlife, forestry and conservation management.

“We focus on giving students hands-on experiences, and that includes undergraduate research, working with faculty members on projects, internships and more,” says Susan Sumner, associate dean and director of academic programs in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“We’ve also expanded to offer unique minors in areas such as leadership and civic agriculture that are designed to give students marketable skills they might not otherwise have, making it easier for them to secure employment in the future.”


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