The Agricultural Technology Program offers a concentrated academic experience for individuals pursuing an associate degree in preparation for careers in the agriculture and green industries. Students can specialize in Applied Agricultural Management or Landscape and Turf Management.
Applied Agricultural Management
This specialty provides students with a balanced education, including courses in livestock production and agribusiness, that prepares them for diverse job opportunities.
The animal science curriculum includes courses in genetics, nutrition, reproduction, health, and management. It focuses on the biological and economic aspects of animal production and management. Soils, forages, mechanics, and chemical application courses round out the AAM curriculum.
Business courses provide instruction in financial record-keeping, professional selling, personnel management, strategic marketing, whole business planning, and information systems, focusing on strategic management and economic issues of the agricultural industry. Laboratories stress the use of modern management methods and computer applications for problem solving.
The crop science curriculum provides students knowledge and hands-on experiences relative to Virginia's major crop and forage systems. Students learn about cash crop rotations and grazing management as well as precision agriculture, integrated pest management, pesticide application, and pesticide safety. Students gain experience using the latest technologies in precision agriculture through labs held in partnership with leaders from the agriculture equipment industry.
Landscape and Turf Management
In this specialty, students prepare for a career in the green industry, including landscape design, golf course management, horticulture production, nursery management, and sports field management. Students learn about various types of turfgrass and landscape plants, turf management, soils and nutrient management, landscape design and contracting, irrigation and drainage, integrated pest management, hardscaping, computer-aided drafting, responsible chemical application, and Spanish culture and language instruction. Laboratories for each class focus on hands-on learning and expose students to a range of applied landscape and turf management skills. A strong core of business courses is also offered. Students are encouraged to compete in national competitions.
The Turf Management curriculum focuses on maintenance of high use areas like golf courses, sports fields and recreational turfgrass areas. Course options include working on the VT athletic fields, Virginia Tech's Pete Dye River Golf Course and a capstone course where students create a complete turfgrass management plan for regional athletic fields.
The Landscape Management option has intensive hands-on and classroom instruction in plant materials, design elements, and softscape and hardscape construction and maintenance methods. This knowledge allows students to design and maintain sustainable and aesthetic landscapes.