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Agriculture

Agricultural Sciences

Agriculture


About the Program

Ferrum College is the only private college in Virginia that offers a four-year degree in Agricultural Science and teacher licensure in vocational agriculture.  A diversified four-year curriculum stresses the theory, art, and practice of agriculture while also emphasizing the intimate intersections with sustainability.  Within this framework, students consider the environmental, economic, and social ramifications of agricultural practices in an increasingly resource-strained world.

The four program emphasis areas of Animal Science, Agribusiness, Agronomy, and Horticulture allow students to focus their study.  Agricultural teaching is, by nature, a hands-on endeavor.  This philosophy is embodied in labs, class exercises, practica, internships, and independent research.  These diverse delivery methods allow students to apply theory in a practical, real-world setting.  This broad preparatory approach is underscored by a comprehensive liberal arts base to prepare graduates for a wide range of career opportunities.

 

Agriculture Picture Collage

Coursework in Agriculture

The curriculum incorporates a variety of topics to prepare students for opportunities in the field of Agriculture, and includes courses such as:

  • Introduction to Animal Science
  • Field & Forage Crop Production
  • Farm Business Management
  • Livestock Evaluation and Judging
  • Soil Science and Management
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Introduction to Plant Science
  • Animal Diseases
  • Principles of Animal Production
  • Plant Diseases
  • Fitting and Showing
  • Animal and Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Plant Pest Management
  • Greenhouse Management

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Related Clubs

Students can choose from over 50 clubs and organizations at Ferrum College.  The following are specifically related to the Agricultural Sciences:

  • Agriculture Club:  Affiliated with the Collegiate Young Farmers (Farm Bureau), the club works with local farmers and assists with the yearly Folklife Festival.  This student-led club also organizes and conducts yearly plant sales using the greenhouse facilities at the Titmus Agricultural Center.  The club's membership is a diverse cross-section of majors - a reflection of its broad appeal.

  • Dairy Challenge Team:  The team competes in the north American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge to facilitate education, communication and an exchange of ideas among students, agribusiness, and dairy producers.  Student teams participate in contests that allow students to apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy.

  • National Agriculture Honor Society (Delta Tau Alpha):  Promotes and recognizes high standards of scholarship, leadership, and character among agricultural students. 

  • Equestrian Club:  Ferrum College recently established a new equestrian club in partnership with Healing Strides of Virginia, a therapeutic riding facility in Boones Mill, VA.  In addition to weekly riding lessons, student club members volunteer five hours a week at the facility and have the opportunity to participate in horsemanship clinics where they can improve their horsemanship skills. 

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Experiential & Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Ferrum College believes that hands-on learning is a natural extension of classroom study. 

Research puts classroom theory to practice.  In effect, research brings the educational Experience full circle.  As mentors, faculty can shepherd students through the scientific process and identify a project that's compatible with their interests.

  • Dr. Pohlad's research interests include the use of Appalachian watersheds in undergraduate and community experiential education and web-based collaborative ecological teaching and research using a watershed project.

  • Dr. Tim Durham's research interests include crop variety evaluation, underutilized and niche crops, Best Management Practices (BMP's), especially as they relate to slow release fertilizers, reduced risk and biological pesticides, and comparative risk assessment of transgenic and conventional crops.

  • Dr. Nancy Brubaker's research interests include broad-based biomedical research as it applies to animal health, hypothyroidism in the domestic feline, the properties of the "dynamic" bone, and using animals as environmental markers (Lyme disease).

  • Dr. Glen Stevens' research interests include renewable energy, plant ecology, entomology, nematology, and soils.


Internships: Internships are designed to further the learning experience by placing students in situations of responsibility and creativity.  Some past internships include:

  • Triple R Ranch, Chesapeake, VA
  • Rawhide Ranch, Bonsall, CA
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service, VA
  • Tidewater Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AREC), Suffolk, VA
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and Quarantine
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension, Rocky Mount, VA
  • Pilgrim's Pride, Broadway, VA
  • Buffalo Gap High School, Swoope, VA


View 2013 Agriculture Interns-Ferrum College in a larger map


Campus Facilities and Field Trips:
  The nearly 800-acre Ferrum campus serves as a living laboratory.  The picturesque campus gardens include a program run Arboretum (www.ferrum.edu/arboretum) and two campus greenhouses (www.ferrum.edu/greenhouse).  The Titmus Agricultural Center provides opportunities for student projects with livestock and the Farm to Cafe Program, which markets college-grown produce to the campus dining hall.  Students have been active participants in the construction and management of the farm, gardens, and greenhouses.  In addition, faculty routinely take students to local, state, and regional farms, botanical gardens, nurseries, and orchards to give them firsthand experience with current agricultural practices and issues in the field.
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Career Options

An Agricultural Sciences major can lead to traditional and non-traditional career and educational paths.  Potential examples include:

  • Soil Conservationist
  • Peace Corps/VISTA
  • Extension Agent
  • Vocational Agriculture Teacher
  • Farmer/Farm Manager
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Commercial Loan Officer
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Graduate School
  • Quality Assurance Supervisor
  • Golf Course Superintendent

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Recent Agricultural Sciences Graduates and their Careers

A degree in agricultural science is a gateway to a promising career!  Recent Ferrum graduates credit their program of study for the following careers:

  • Sean Duff
    Agricultural Agent
    Franklin County Cooperative Extension
    Virginia Tech

  • Robin Albright Kavanaugh
    Animal Resources Manager
    Franklin College of Arts & Sciences
    University of Georgia

  • Joey Cornwell
    Ag Loan Officer
    Farm Credit of the Virginias

  • Sam Goin
    Manager
    Southern States Cooperative

  • Dr. Kevin Bradley

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Agronomy
    University of Missouri


Agricultural Sciences Faculty

 Timothy Durham

Timothy Durham | View Profile

Program Coordinator of Agricultural Sciences
Assistant Professor of Agronomy / Agricultural Sciences
D.P.M., University of Florida
(540) 365-6948
tdurham@ferrum.edu

Nancy Brubaker 

Nancy Brubaker

Assistant Professor of Animal Science / Agricultural Sciences
D.V.M.,Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
(540) 365-6946
nbrubaker@ferrum.edu
 
Bob Pohlad

Bob Pohlad  | View Profile

Professor of Biology and Horticulture
Ph.D., University of Georgia
(540) 365-4367
bpohlad@ferrum.edu

Glen Stevens

Glen Stevens | View Profile

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic University and State University
(540) 365-4554
gstevens3@ferrum.edu

Adjunct Faculty

Trenda Leavitt

Trenda Leavitt

Adjunct Instructor
M.L.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Licensed Landscape Architect - Commonwealth of Virginia
tleavitt2@ferrum.edu

 

 

 


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For More Information:

Faculty are active participants in the intellectual growth and development of students.  Feel free to contact them with questions about the program. 

Dr. Bob Pohlad
bpohlad@ferrum.edu
Emphasis Area:  Horticulture

Dr. Tim Durham
tdurham@ferrum.edu
Emphasis Areas:  Agronomy and Agribusiness

Dr. Nancy Brubaker
nbrubaker@ferrum.edu
Emphasis Area:  Animal Science

Glen Stevens
gstevens3@ferrum.edu

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