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Farming Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Farmers raise livestock and grow crops, often for commercial public consumption. There are many undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are relevant for students who are interested in farming.

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Farming schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs that might focus on such areas as farm and ranch management, power and machinery, agricultural systems management and precision agriculture; more recently, majors in renewable energy technology are available.

10 Schools with Farming Programs

The following schools offer programs in farming, agriculture, and its related fields.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Texas A & M University College Station, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate, Master's, Doctoral $10,176 (in-state), $28,768 (out-of-state)
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $7,736 (in-state), $20,856 (out-of-state)
Central Texas College Killeen, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,280 (in-district), $2,940 (in-state), $6,420 (out-of-state)
Johnson & Wales University Providence, RI 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's $29,566
Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $4,373 (in-state), $6,299 (out-of-state)
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX 4-year, Private Certificate, Bachelor's $40,720
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $4,280 (in-state), $6,206 (out-of-state)
Butler Community College El Dorado, KS 2-year, Public Associate's $3,235 (in-district), $3,565 (in-state), $5,185 (out-of-state)
North Central Texas College Gainesville, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,680 (in-district), $2,832 (in-state), $4,800 (out-of-state)
College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,880 (in-district), $3,880 (in-state), $6,720 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

When deciding on a farming school to attend, there are a few considerations to take into account:

  • Because there are many program options within the field of farming, ranging from agribusiness to soil science, prospective students should examine a program's curriculum in order to make sure that it meets their educational needs.
  • Prospective students may want to look for schools that provide hands-on training opportunities in farming and/or crop sales.
  • Students may also want to look for schools that host a collegiate chapter of the Future Farmers of America (CFFA), or another farming-related student organization.
  • When choosing between research-based master's and doctoral degree programs, prospective students should make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests.

Associate's Degree Programs

Students who are interested in farming can earn an associate's degree in agriculture, agribusiness or a closely related field. These programs typically provide a broad overview of the farming industry, including soil science, crop production, sales and business management. In addition, students must fulfill general education requirements.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Within a school's department or college of agriculture, students may be able to choose from a wide range of bachelor's degree program options related to farming. For a general program, students can major in agricultural studies, but some schools also offer more specialized majors, such as dairy science, seed science, agricultural systems technology, agricultural business and agricultural biochemistry. Many programs include hands-on farming training.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in farming-related subjects can vary significantly in their area of focus. Individuals who are interested in conducting lab-based farming research may consider pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Crop Science, which would culminate in a final research thesis or project. Another option is a Master of Agriculture (MAg) degree in a subject such as animal sciences, where aspiring farmers could choose an emphasis such as livestock management or dairy production. There are also master's degree programs that emphasize the business of farming, such as MBA programs with a focus on agribusiness.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Like master's degree programs, emphasis areas in farming-related doctoral degree programs vary widely. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs are available in subjects such as agricultural economics, animal breeding, plant breeding, poultry science, agronomy and soil science. These programs include advanced research and culminate in a final dissertation. It is also possible to complete a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Agricultural Education.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for students who are interested in farming are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some schools offer undergraduate certificate and diploma programs in areas such as farm operation, agriculture equipment service and ranch management for individuals who are looking for basic, career-specific training. There are also graduate certificate programs available for experienced professionals who wish to advance their expertise in a particular area of the field, such as sustainable agriculture.

Farming programs can focus on a wide variety of subjects and award undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Choosing the right school for you may depend on program type, cost and whether the school allows students to gain practical experience on a farm.

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