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Agriculture is the largest and most diverse industry on the planet. It employs no less than 20 percent of the people in the United States - from traders waving frantically on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to bioengineers at huge state universities to farmers in the boondocks of Southeast Missouri. It strikes us as strange that enrollment in most colleges of agriculture has declined lately, despite the fact that the demand for food in the world and the demand for qualified employees in the agriculture and food production industry have not diminished at all.

General programs in Agriculture are broad in scope. In fact, at many schools, the colleges of agriculture are so comprehensive that you must decide on a much narrower area of study by the end of your sophomore year so that you can complete the particular requirements in that area within four years. Specialty areas include animal science, horticulture, agronomy, and agricultural economics.

If you decide (and are allowed) to major in Agriculture generally, you'll have an endless array of courses to choose from and you can pursue a wealth of well-paying career options in agriculture and agribusiness.


  • Agricultural Economics

  • Agricultural Mechanics

  • Agricultural Pollution Control

  • Agricultural Systems Management

  • Animal Husbandry

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Computer Applications in Agriculture

  • Entomology

  • Farm Management

  • Feeds and Feeding

  • Genetics of Livestock and Plant Improvement

  • Horticulture

  • Soil and Crop Science


If you think you might major in Agriculture, try to get as many physical sciences courses as you can while you are in high school. Courses in chemistry and biology are essential. Obviously, if your high school offers agriculture courses, you should take them.