Are you in love with gardening? Do you want to help people by teaching them how to grow fruits, vegetables and crops? The University of Maryland at College Park offers a bachelor degree program in horticulture and crop production. This program is not merely for gardening, but for leadership roles in the industries that are most important to the human race. The horticulture and crop production bachelor’s degree program teaches students how to manage greenhouses, nurseries, agronomic facilities, orchards and crops.
What Does the Curriculum Involve?
The curriculum involves plant growth and development as well as plant protection from the elements. The degree program will encompass elements of agriculture as well as economics and insects. Organic produce and biochemistry will be reviewed as well as landscaping and land surveying. Plant life is truly complex, along with understanding structure, function and the various types of crops. After learning the fundamentals of science and nature, you must utilize the tools and skills necessary to lead. As the program progresses, managerial skills are covered along with techniques for plant propagation. Students must also learn turf management, soil fertility, commercial practices, and plant pathology. Environment is also discussed.
This Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program prepares students for all aspects of plant biology and a number of career paths. What’s neat about this study program is that students can decide whether they want to stick to agricultural biotechnology or traditional plant science. Your career path is put before you, and you are free to make a choice. The four-year curriculum itself covers everything from agronomy to botany to plant molecular biology. If you are a plant “purist” when it comes to organic foods, you will find it useful to know how agricultural biotechnology works so you can explain the difference to co-workers.
What the UMD College Offers
UMD offers some excellent facilities and benefits to students serious about their future. The College Park station is located extremely close to the outstanding resource facilities of the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the National Agricultural Library. Other nearby sites of interest (who oftentimes work with the college on various learning projects) includes the National Institutes of Health and the Smithsonian Institution. The classrooms themselves are amazing, and feature full labs, lecture halls, advanced equipment, rooms with humidity control and germination features, and a greenhouse. Internship programs are available and can be matched to a student’s field.
There are also awards and scholarships. The UMD keeps the festivities going, by awarding undergraduate awards such as the Landscape Architecture Award of Excellence and the ASLA Honor and Merit Award Nominees.
Career-wise, this is a great path for students interested in improving the national and world scene by promoting health. Undergraduates can go on to jobs as farm managers, commercial nursery managers, horticulture managers, botanic gardens managers and independent growers of vineyards, gardens and grains. Why not follow your love of plant life and harvest into something real and beneficial to the world?