About the Program
Ferrum College is the only private college in Virginia that offers a four-year degree in Agricultural Sciences 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 five program emphasis areas of Animal Science, Agribusiness, Agronomy, Horticulture, and Equine Studies 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. Students interested in a career in primary or secondary school teaching may study Animal Science or Horticulture and minor in Teacher Education.
Assistant Professor of Biology and Agricultural Science
B.S. Biology, Elon University
Ph.D. Plant Biology, Purdue University
Associate Professor of Animal Science and Agricultural Sciences
Program Coordinator of Agricultural Sciences
D.V.M., Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Associate Professor of Crop Science
D.P.M., University of Florida
Agriculture Science curriculum may include:
- Animal Nutrition
- Animal Science
- Plant Propagation
- Stable Management
For full listing of current classes, view the college catalog here.
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. Bob 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).
- 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
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 and two campus greenhouses. 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. Offsite, the 172 acre Dehart Botanical Gardens in Patrick County, VA, provide a habitat for students to inquire about the natural world and how it intersects with our human footprint.
- 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.
- 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.
An Agricultural Sciences major can lead to traditional and non-traditional career and educational paths. Potential examples include:
- Soil Conservationist
- Extension Agent
- Vocational Agriculture Teacher
- Farmer/Farm Manager
- Greenhouse Manager
- Commercial Loan Officer
- Agricultural Scientist
- Graduate School
- Quality Assurance Supervisor
- Golf Course Superintendent
- Peace Corps/VISTA