Sustainable Agriculture

Degrees and Certificates


AGR 114 : Sustainable Agriculture I

This course is an introduction to the principles and practices of sustainable agriculture for small organic farms and gardens. Topics include sustainable agriculture principles and practices, economics, soil science, conservation, tillage, and fertility, composting, cover crops, crop rotation, plant biology, weeds, pest and disease control. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week, including field trips. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery. Instructional Support Fee applies. 4 credits Spring


  1. Describe and apply the scientific method to address observations and problems.
  2. Describe and apply the principles of scientific inquiry.
  3. Compare and contrast industrial vs. organic agriculture practices and impacts.
  4. Discuss and appraise the economic trends in agricultural markets.
  5. Discuss principles and practices of soil science and soil conservation.
  6. Conduct and interpret physical and chemical soil analysis results.
  7. Recognize and explain plant nutrient deficiencies and their remedies.
  8. Describe and execute soil fertility techniques including composting, cover crops, crop rotations, and fertilization.
  9. Recognize and describe plant morphology and physiology.
  1. Explain and apply diverse weed management techniques and practices.
  1. Conduct and discuss a whole farm case study to identify specific experiences, lessons learned, constraints, and opportunities on local organic farms.
12. Analyze, discuss, and debate agricultural issues including biotechnology, climate change, environmental degradation, and food quality.

AGR 116 : Water Acquisition and Conservation

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the science of water, including its chemistry, its movements in the environment, and its use in agriculture. The course introduces students to traditional and alternative ways of accessing water for agricultural use, as well as methods to conserve this most precious resource. Two lecture hours per week. 2 credits Spring


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of water chemistry and the movement of water throughout the earth.
  2. Demonstrate traditional and alternative methods of obtaining water for farming.
3. Demonstrate methods of conserving water so that this limited resource will be there for this and future generations.

AGR 122 : Natural Beekeeping Practices

This course is an introduction to the basic principles and practices of natural beekeeping emphasizing organic methods. The course prepares beginning beekeepers to start or expand their own beekeeping as a hobby or small enterprise. Topics include biology and life cycle of honey bees, equipment and materials, starting a new hive, seasonal hive management practices, hive pests and diseases, harvesting and marketing. Students will have the opportunity to purchase new hives, equipment, and bees to establish their own hive in the spring. At least one field day will demonstrate installation, feeding, and early care of a new hive. Two lecture hours per week. 2 credits Spring, Evening/Weekend only


  1. Understand the fundamentals of bee biology and its role in organic agriculture.
  2. Recognize and understand the basic beekeeping equipment and its use in establishing, managing, and harvesting bee products.
  3. Learn the techniques and methods of managing honeybee hive for pollination and honey productions.
  4. Understand the issues of beekeeping, including diseases, parasites, and predators, and their prevention or treatment.
  5. Learn the fundamentals of honey harvesting, extraction, processing, and marketing.

AGR 123 : Entomology and Plant Disease

This course focuses on the identification of insect pests and plant diseases, and explores the prevention, detection, and organic controls of plant pests and diseases. Content includes a survey of principle plant pests and diseases, their biology and life cycles, impacts, disease symptoms, and controls. An introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is included. Control methods will include cultural practices as well as biological and organic chemical methods. Three lecture hours per week. 3 credits Fall


After Completion of this course, students will be able to: 1. Identify common pests and pathogens in agriculture, including insects, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases. 2. Identify what chemicals are available for eliminating pests and be able to practice safe application techniques. 3. Recognize and identify insect damage on plant material. 4. Utilize integrated Pest Management techniques.

AGR 124 : Permaculture: Design for Regeneration

The course integrates both research and practical applications to design food systems that have the resiliency of natural ecosystems. The essential components of diverse garden systems will be discussed in detail, including edible ecosystem gardens, perennial cropping and mini orchards, soil fertility, water management, tools and techniques and planting strategies. Three lecture hours per week. 3 credits Fall


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 1. Describe and apply the scientific method to analyze patterns in the natural world and apply solutions to design challenges. 2. Recognize and describe the principles of scientific inquiry. 3. Describe ecological systems, their functions and the ecosystem services that they provide. 4. Discuss and analyze perennial aggro-forestry systems of diverse tree crops and livestock animals. 5. Discuss and apply the principles of ecological relationships to the design sustainable plant and food production. 6. Discuss and analyze the issues of world food productions systems and food sovereignty principles.

AGR 125 : Specialized Crops

This course focuses on the production of specialized crops including heirloom varieties, native plants, as well as emerging production industries such as hemp. The importance and usefulness of crops in an ecological and economic setting is emphasized, as well as current regulations and practices regarding production. Students will also be given the opportunity to explore growing specialized crops meeting their own interest to help diversify local agriculture and increase potential economic benefit for new and existing farmers. Three lecture hours per week. 3 credits Fall, Summer


After completion of this course students will be able to: 1. Identify the difference between native and non-native/invasive plants, as well as the benefits and uses of native and heirloom plants and hemp. 2. Develop a plan for growing/marketing native plants and heirloom plants. 3. Discuss the biology, history and uses of native plants and hemp as well as other specialized crops. 4. Recognize the current state and federal regulations regarding all levels of production of specialized crops, from seed saving/collecting, to growing and processing crops. 5. Prepare for the practice of growing specialized crops.