Agriculture and Natural Resources Major
Agriculture and Natural Resources: Sustaining Life
Agriculture and natural resources sustain the world. Supporting our food supply, protecting our environment, and preserving our quality of life, the disciplines included in this exciting field are invaluable to ensuring our future. Based in sciences, business, and technology, areas such as food science, plant biology, wildlife conservation, engineering technology, resource economics and many others are all part of the overall field known as agriculture and natural resources.
Academics and Practical Applications
For students who have wide-reaching interests in agriculture and natural resources--or who can’t settle on just one major—Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) provides an easy way to combine interests and create an individual curriculum. By choosing courses from our five departments--Animal and Food Sciences; Entomology and Wildlife Ecology; Food and Resource Economics; Bioresources Engineering; and Plant and Soil Sciences--students complete at least 30 credit hours in agriculture and natural resources. Additionally, they select various courses in literature, the arts, social sciences, humanities, computing, mathematics, communications, and the physical sciences. Many students choose to develop a secondary interest by pursuing a minor or a double major in another area. There is a lot of freedom and diversity in the AGNR major, and with assistance from a faculty advisor, students design their programs to fit their individual interests and career goals.
In many of our courses, lectures are only part of the picture. From field trips to a nearby marsh in Herpetology to lab research in a Genetics course, AGNR students get out of the classroom and into places where they can see education in action—in the field, on the farm, in the woods, in the greenhouses, and in the laboratory. This focus on practical application, supported by traditional academics, is part of the unique nature of the AGNR major.
A Place to Learn
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources houses the AGNR major and offers an impressive array of facilities. From the horses, cattle, poultry, and sheep on the 350-acre University Farm to the Allen Biotechnology Laboratory and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, the experiences of AGNR majors are enhanced by on-site, modern teaching resources. The Fischer Greenhouse Laboratory and the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens offer “living laboratories” for those interested in plants and soils, while the 35-acre forest provides real-life lessons in ecology, entomology and wildlife conservation. Townsend and Worrilow Halls contain faculty offices, several classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, a library, a student commons, and one of the most advanced computer sites on campus. Our close proximity to government agencies, state parks, and agricultural businesses ensures easy accessibility for student internships and part-time employment.
Enriching the Experience
To make the undergraduate experience academically more challenging, AGNR majors may participate in Undergraduate Research with a faculty member, apply for the Science Scholars program in their sophomore year, work on a Degree with Distinction (a mini-thesis) and participate in the University Honors Program.
For those who want to experience agriculture and natural resources beyond the East Coast, study abroad programs in places like Peru, Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia, Tanzania and Antarctica provide both educational and cultural enrichment.
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources supports 12 student organizations with a variety of interests. From the Horticulture Club to the Equestrian Team, from Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity to Sigma Alpha Sorority, student clubs offer AGNR majors the chance to develop professionally and socially, to network with alumni, and to become involved in the College.
Life after College
AGNR graduates are employed in a variety of careers, and our employment data show that an AGNR degree is certainly one that employers like. Graduates report being employed in landscape design, poultry company management, marketing, sales, agricultural research, animal care, science teaching, dairy production, crop consulting, and environmental control—just to name a few. We encourage all students to prepare for their careers by attending job-search workshops and career fairs, by enhancing their public-speaking skills, and by getting experience through internships and independent studies. We find that students who take advantage of this advice are most successful in the job hunt.