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UMD Undergraduate Degree Program in Agriculture and Resource Economics

University & College Info August 1, 2013

Environmental concerns and responsible resource development are a major issue in a global society affected by climate change, water shortages and industrial waste hazards. The University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) Degree Program in Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) addresses the problems related to sound environmental development and balanced use of natural resources.

Choosing a Career in Agriculture and Resource Economics

The UMCP Bachelor Program integrates economic reasoning, agribusiness management and analytical methods with resource or environmental policies and international agriculture. Various fields of study are offered, with a requirement to select at least one, and encouragement to choose a second for in-depth understanding of various related subjects. Field studies include business management, farm production, food production and political process, among others.

Although agriculture is expected to take a four percent decline by 2020, this is primarily due to the rising costs of production, along with more consolidation of farm services, as well as increased productivity. Administration in waste management and remedial services are expected to grow by twenty-one percent. Scientific consultation and the technical consulting services in the area of environmental and workplace safety is expected to increase by fifty-eight percent.

AREC Accomplishments

University of Maryland (UMD) students in the AREC program can expect a lot of attention from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). National policy makers and elected official recently invited AREC major, Nathan Lim and Agribusiness minor, Gabrielle Rovegno, to join the agricultural outlook forum sponsored by USDA and the Student Diversity Program. They were among thirty students selected from across the United States to attend. The invitations were sent by US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

The White House can’t seem to get enough of University of Maryland College Park students. After receiving her PHD in the top-ranking UMCP Agriculture and Resource Program, Jia Li was appointed to a one year detail with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She is one of three alumni from AREC program to be placed on detail with CEQ in the last four years.

Opportunities for Bachelor of Science (B.S) Degree Students

Fewer than three percent of those who study agriculture actually end up working on a farm; or even come from a farm background. An AREC degree provides the preparation for entry-level jobs that include a variety of business applications, such as economic analysis in government and business, especially in the food and fiber sector. Bachelor of Science graduates from the UMD Agriculture and Resource Economics Program have been chosen to work for the US Department of Agriculture, in commercial real estate management and for the National Wildlife Federation.

AREC students have been accepted into graduate studies for law, business, applied economics and public policy after completing their degree program. The environment and sustainable agriculture is everybody’s concern. There is currently less than a two percent unemployment rate in agricultural economics, with the demand for scientific and technological consultation expected to increase greatly by the year 2020. Emerging economies are already taking an interest in land management as they seek to take a competitive economic role. UMCP has demonstrated its ability to lead the way in sound agricultural practices and natural resource development. For AREC students, the potential is enormous, and the rewards are great as they take their place in developing a harmonious global economy.

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