B.S. Degree in Sustainable Agriculture

The B.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture emphasizes

  • building healthy soil through crop rotations, organic soil amendments and erosion management
  • protecting water quality by reducing synthetic chemical use
  • managing pest and weed problems with integrated, ecologically sound approaches
  • increasing farm profits and income stability through diverse, community-based enterprises
  • using knowledge of scientific principles to propose and test farming practices that better mimic natural ecosystems.

The University of Maine was the first in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture.  The Sustainable Agriculture program, initiated in 1988, has been highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

With this degree, students can find employment as a

  • community food-based nonprofit organization employee
  • manager of an organic or sustainable farm
  • self-employed market or dairy farmer
  • research technician
  • sales and marketing professional for a food retailer, wholesaler, cooperative or direct marketing initiative (e.g., supermarket chain, producer cooperatives)

Faculty associated with this program are:

Stephanie Burnett, Associate Professor
Lily Calderwood, Assistant Professor and Assistant Extension Specialist
Susan Erich, Professor
Eric Gallandt, Professor
Charlene Gray, Lecturer
Jay Hao, Associate Professor
Mark Hutton, Associate Professor and Associate Extension Specialist
Ellen Mallory, Associate Professor and Associate Extension Specialist
Renae Moran, Associate Professor and Associate Extension Specialist
Tsutomu Ohno, Professor
Bryan Peterson, Assistant Professor
Greg Porter, Professor
Rachel E. Schattman, Assistant Professor
Matthew Wallhead, Assistant Professor and Assistant Extension Specialist

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goals:
1. Students completing the program in Sustainable Agriculture will demonstrate strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills appropriate for an entry-level professional in the industry.

Program Learning Outcomes:
After successful completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate scholarly writing by summarizing scientific literature, formulating individual ideas, and presenting written information clearly.
  • Prepare and give well-organized presentations, supported by relevant technical information.

2. Students completing the program will be able to apply basic knowledge and skills in the field of sustainable agriculture to practical, real-world settings as appropriate for an entry-level professional in the industry.

Student Learning Outcomes:
After successful completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Diagnose plant diseases using a microscope.
  • Identify weed species, at various stages of maturity, by common and scientific name.
  • Make decisions regarding plant production in greenhouses using environmental, nutritional, and scouting data.

3. Students will be successful in obtaining jobs in the field and in acceptance to graduate programs.