John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture




Sustainable Agriculture

The Department of Agricultural Sciences provides education and mentoring for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Central State University had an agriculture program since its inception up through 1960. The coursework in the new major provides a nod to the past and the future with a strong science base and coursework to reflect modern and cutting edge research into conservation practices that maximize profitability while sustaining the environment. The B.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture is an interdisciplinary major and overlaps some faculty and coursework with Agribusiness, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Physics, Manufacturing Engineering, and Water Resources Management. The Department maintains a program of related paid and unpaid, undergraduate research experiences that emphasize sustainable agricultural practices in practical applications of classroom theory and enhances their skills for generating new knowledge.

Each sustainable agriculture major receives academic advising by a member of the Agricultural Sciences faculty. Nevertheless, students are responsible for knowing and complying with all published schedules and graduation requirements.

General Information

Graduates of the Sustainable Agriculture program are in great demand in industry companies and government agencies.

Trends In Sustainable Agriculture

Food and Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry - only 10% of these jobs are traditional farming. To feed growing populations, the U.S. needs college graduates to enter agriculture related jobs and a lack of diversity is limiting new ideas to increasing food production and maintain the environment. The U.S. awards 35,400 degrees in agriculture each year, but at least 57,900 job openings in agriculture are available, especially in highly-skilled areas. New hires have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment – exactly the expertise a major in Sustainable Agriculture provides.

Students with a Sustainable Agriculture background are the future professionals that will provide leadership in addressing sustainable food systems, adequate water resource and renewable energy in the midst of growing populations and climate change. A student with a major in sustainable agriculture is prepared for a wide range of job opportunities and is better suited for future challenges facing agriculture and the environment. Some of the greatest job opportunities will be in agriculture related fields such as food production, nutrition, food chemistry, biomaterials, biofuels, plant science, water management and conservation, forestry, agriculture technology, sustainable agriculture, management and business. Students graduating from Central State University with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture will be prepared to meet this challenge.

Sustainable Agriculture Program Objectives

Central State University and the Department of Agricultural Sciences is dedicated to education, research and extension in:

  1. Agricultural diversification in areas of vegetables, fruits, natural products and animals
  2. Agricultural marketing, entrepreneurship and small business development.
  3. Natural resources and water quality.
  4. Childhood obesity, nutrition, health and health education.

The departmental vision is to lead students to become life-long learners through experiential learning activities centered on individuals, families, and organizations that will create more sustainable communities.

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Sustainable Agriculture has been designed to address these objectives. The B. S. degree program in Sustainable Agriculture currently is the only one in Ohio. The curriculum consists of a year of college biology, chemistry, physics and courses in all areas of agriculture with an emphasis on the pros and cons of conservation practices.

Degree Requirements

A total of 124 semester hours are required for the B.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture.

General Education Requirements

(37-38 hours); see University General Education Requirements. Science and mathematics requirements are included in the major requirements.

Sustainable Agriculture Program Requirements:

This major is structured to provide well-rounded instruction and experiences leading to sustainable practices in agriculture, natural resources, community agriculture, and agribusiness. All majors in the department must fulfill the University General Education Requirements and the specific requirements of the program in which they are enrolled prior to applying for graduation. The overarching mission of the Program is to prepare professionals who understand how to apply scientific and systems principles to problems related to products and services necessary for sustenance of humans and animals in a manner that would conserve existing natural resources. The program enables a scientific study of crop and animal production, and the distribution of the produce to consumers regionally and globally. It also offers opportunities for students to gain additional knowledge in related areas such as agricultural business, policy, economics and legal aspects of environmental issues, and geospatial and sensor technologies, instrumentation, alternate crops and natural products as applied to agricultural systems. The graduates of the program will be engaged in careers related to improving the processes of farming of produce for nutrition and health, protecting the environment, and conserving water and energy using state of the art knowledge in sustainable agriculture and related disciplines.

General Information

The goals of the Sustainable Agriculture Program include