North Carolina State University is offering a new bachelor's degree program designed to meet a growing need for professionals with a broad range of knowledge and experience in agricultural sciences.
Barry Croom, associate professor of Agricultural and Extension Education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State, said the first students are expected to enroll in the new Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences program in fall 2007.
"Students in this degree program will study all aspects of the food and fiber industry," Croom said. "Students will develop the skills needed to improve yields with less labor, control pests safely and effectively, conserve soil and water, manage or administer research and development programs, and manage marketing or production operations in agribusiness."
Croom said a typical agricultural sciences student will study communications, mathematics, economics, business, physical and life sciences, in addition to a variety of technical agricultural science courses. While students will receive instruction in a range of disciplines needed to succeed in today's agriculture, they will also be able to focus on agricultural specialties that interest them.
For example, if a student is interested in animal science, their technical agricultural science courses might include courses such as animal breeding, reproductive physiology and nutrition.
In addition to technical knowledge, students will learn leadership skills designed to help them work independently and as part of a team, communicate effectively, solve problems and understand basic business concepts.
Croom said graduates with Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences degrees will be able to move quickly into the research or teaching fields or choose from a variety of other careers.
With experience, an agricultural sciences graduate may advance to jobs such as supervisor of a research program or manager of an agriculture-related activity. Croom pointed out that agriculture and agribusiness continue to represent an important segment of North Carolina's economy that employs approximately 649,000 North Carolinians, so graduates should be in demand.
While the degree program is designed to provide the training students need to join businesses that provide various agricultural services, Croom said students who wish to pursue careers in production agriculture will also find the degree useful.
Information about the program is available on line at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agscience or from Croom at 1-919-515-1759.