Tag Archives: agricultural education

The Best Agricultural Colleges

Agricultural College

The field of agriculture continues to grow and evolve. As a result, many universities have started to focus on offering a huge range of agricultural courses which work side by side with other biological engineering disciplines in order to offer students the chance to address serious global problems. These include world hunger, food and fiber crop sustainability and emerging research in nutrition. This list of the Top 5 colleges shows the current state of the field of agriculture as well as where it’s headed.

Clonakilty Agricultural College

Clonakilty Agricultural College objective is to develop young people and through them to improve the adoption of products, processors and systems to improve farm incomes. Its education and training programmes have been benchmarked to the best international standards and are nationally accredited thereby providing the opportunity for progression to third level qualifications.

The objectives are achived through training programmes, which include:

  • National Certificate in Agriculture (HETAC)
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture (HETAC)
  • National Vocational Certificate in Agriculture (FETAC)
  • Part-time courses on Rural Development and I.T.

Texas A&M University

As a university, Texas A&M has publicly set out what it considers to be the Five Grand Challenges facing the world:

  • Feeding our world
  • Protecting our environment
  • Improving our health
  • Enriching our youth
  • Growing our economy

With these Grand Challenges in mind, the curriculum at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on using current farming techniques and researching emerging agricultural technologies to address each challenge in turn. Their program has been acknowledged as one of the best by ranking officials such as the QS University Ranking System as well as maintaining the state’s premier research facility through their AgriLife Research program.

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The College of Agricultural and Life Science at the University of Wisconsin is more commonly known simply as UW-CALS and is the home to 19 academic departments and two dozen different undergraduate majors. According to the National Research Council, 10 UW-CALS programs appear in the top 15 percent of national doctoral programs. These programs include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant breeding and genetics
  • Nutritional sciences
  • Forestry

UW-CALS alumni have also been singled out for Nobel prize awards and are members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cornell University

Cornell is often listed as one of the top schools in the country, but many people don’t realize it has a stellar agricultural program. While the Cornell program also focuses on the future of agriculture, it anchors its curriculum, goals and focus around sustainability. Well known for its mathematics, law and business offerings, Cornell extends those disciplines into its Agricultural College by finding ways in which sustainable agricultural can support positive economic, social and societal growth.

University of California, Davis

The Agricultural and Forestry program at the University of California, Davis has been ranked as ‘the best of its kind’ internationally and the university has also received a national First Ranking in

  • Agricultural sciences
  • Food science & nutrition
  • Agriculture / Agronomy
  • Plant and animal science
  • Entomology
  • Soil science
  • Environment / Ecology

The University maintains more than 2,500 acres of land for teaching and research and has more than 300 faculty members, 5,300 undergraduates (20% of the overall enrollment in the school) and over 1,000 graduate students working in nearly fifty groups and programs. Their research focuses on new and innovative ways for agriculture to continue to better society while evolving to meet the unique demands and challenges of the future.

The Importance of Agricultural Education

Agricultural Education

In an age where technologically driven careers have taken center stage, many people are left wondering whether or not agricultural education is still important. In fact, careers in agriculture have become increasingly important as people work to find ways to grow better quality food in more versatile ways. We can also notice the increase of students in various agricultural disciplines. After all, agricultural education is more than simply learning how to grow food or plant based textiles. Agricultural education also encompasses:

  • food and fiber production
  • marketing and education (domestic and international)
  • policy making
  • using technology and scientific research to help agriculture
  • food and fiber processing
  • Agribusiness (management and marketing)
  • urban planning

Understanding how agriculture can help increase food production, improve textile processing and work to combat issues such as domestic and world hunger places agricultural education at the forefront of today’s global issues and concerns.

Considering how multifaceted agricultural education is, it comes as a surprise to many to learn that this type of education can be started in early childhood. Small children can help to tend gardens and learn the basics of gardening and food production. In 2007, the Long Beach Unified School District made headlines when it introduced a 22-bed garden at the Los Cerritos Elementary School. Since then the project has helped to teach thousands of children the basics of gardening for personal use as well as the foundations for larger-scale agricultural projects.

Many times, agricultural education is discussed in terms of making students agriculturally literate. This means learning more than simply the basics, but building upon that to promote agriculture as a sustainable way of life both for farmers and the general public. Framing agriculture education as a way to help deal with modern problems gives students of all ages the chance to see that they are able to make a significant – and positive – impact on the world.

With a renewed focus on “green living”, agriculture has enjoyed new found interest and popularity as movements such as “Grow Food Not Farms” and “Real Farmacy” have captured the spirit and imagination of a new generation. Current estimates place pressure on agriculture to develop ways to feed more than 9 billion by the year 2050 which has made agricultural education more vital and important than ever before.