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Agriculture - Crop and Soil Science

Overview

This concentration emphasizes the scientific aspects of agronomy including improving plant production, quality, and profit by utilizing plant genetics and breeding and improving the soil physical, chemical and microbial characteristics to enhance crop production.

Why Study Agriculture - Crop and Soil Science?

The Agriculture major at Illinois State offers a wide array of sequences to prepare students planning on working in any aspect within the agricultural industry. Students who graduate with a degree in Agriculture are not just limited to working on “the farm;” rather they are desirable employees in various industries and career fields. Agricultural Science provides a broad background for working in the agricultural and natural resources industry.

Related Majors

Careers

Related Skills

  • Applying concepts and analytical tools related to the agricultural market
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Team and individual working capability
  • Time management skills

Being Successful in the Field

  • Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, internship, or co-op experience in field of study.
  • For entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree is often necessary for advancement.
  • Some federal and private agency work, consulting positions, and especially research positions require a graduate degree.
  • Teacher certification is required for public school teaching and varies by state.
  • Join a student club or student professional association to network and cultivate related academic interests.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals who have jobs that interest you.

Related Fields

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs

Employers

  • Secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Vocational and technical schools

Strategies

  • Obtain teacher certification for public school positions.
  • Plan to earn a master’s degree to work in college student affairs or university administration.
  • Earn a Ph.D. to obtain employment as a professor.
  • Develop excellent writing and speaking skills. Learn to work well with all types of people. Develop strong interpersonal skills.
  • Seek leadership positions in campus organizations related to agricultural science, natural resources, or agricultural education.
  • Gain practical experience in the area of agriculture.
  • Work with youth through volunteering or summer jobs with camps, 4-H programs, scouts, YMCA's, and other nonprofit organizations.

Agricultural Science

  • Informal Education
  • Sales
  • Management
  • Agricultural Communication: Journalism, Public Relations, Electronic Media, Technical Writing

Employers

  • Local, state and federal government including: Forestry Service, USDA, National and state parks and reserves
  • Professional associations
  • Agribusiness firms
  • Financial institutions
  • Camps
  • Scouting organizations, e.g. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  • Nature centers
  • Foundations, museums, nature centers, zoos
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Wildlife organizations
  • Agricultural magazines and websites
  • Newspapers and other publications
  • Farm radio and television stations
  • Advertising and public relations firms

Strategies

  • Gain relevant experience through internships, summer jobs, or volunteer positions.
  • Earn a minor or take additional courses in area of interest such as communication, English, or business.
  • Develop strong communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Learn to work well with various computer programs including desktop publishing.
  • Participate in related student organizations and seek leadership positions.
  • Work on the student newspaper to gain experience for agricultural communication positions.
  • Develop physical stamina, resourcefulness, and outdoor skills for some informal education positions.
  • Be willing to relocate.

Extension

  • Agricultural Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Youth Development Education

Employers

  • Cooperative Extension System (national)
  • Extension services within states

Strategies

  • Gain experience in working with children and adults of varying ages.
  • Participate as a volunteer or member of organizations such as 4-H or FFA and seek leadership roles.
  • Develop strong communication skills, particularly public speaking and group presentation skills.
  • Take courses in economics and community development.
  • Develop computer skills.
  • Earn a master’s degree to qualify for more positions.
  • Be willing to live in rural communities and to travel within the county.
  • Be prepared to work some evenings and weekends.

Other Professions

  • Agriculture Construction
  • Agronomist
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Animal Scientist
  • Aquaculturist
  • Chemical Research
  • Crop Scout
  • Elevator Manager
  • Environmental Planning
  • Equipment Designer
  • Extension Educator
  • Farm Manager
  • Feedlot Manager
  • Field Research Technician
  • Food Scientist
  • Geneticist
  • Government Inspector
  • Grain/Livestock Merchandiser
  • Ingredient Purchaser
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • International Marketing
  • Livestock Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Market Analyst
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Research Technician
  • Safety Manager
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Technical Services
  • Veterinary Medicine

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Turner  110 Student Services Building  meturne@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5821 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
David Malone  Ropp 124A  dmalone@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8767 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 1. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.00

Middle 50% GPA

2.46 - 3.17

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Fundamentals of Chemistry (CHE 110) and Lab (CHE 112)
  • Finite Mathematics (MAT 120)
  • Introduction to the Agriculture Industry (AGR 109)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
David Malone  Ropp 124A  dmalone@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8767 

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

2.46 - 3.17

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Application always available

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
David Malone  Ropp 124A  dmalone@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8767 
2014-08-11T07:31:46.984-05:00 2014
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