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SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Major Name: Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship
- Degree Program: Applied Science
- Degree Designation: BAS
- College / School: Applied Sciences
Potomac State College is the only college in West Virginia offering a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science in agriculture production. There are no similar programs within the neighboring states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. A degree in Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship (SAGE) will provide the basic training workers will need to enter various production related industries such as support personnel to private producers.
The Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship major is designed to facilitate student development in technical production skills with sound business practices. The curriculum combines existing courses in business with new courses to address applied agriculture production issues and techniques. The students receive appropriate training to execute an entrepreneurial enterprise plan developed during coursework, or matriculate into an existing agriculture food production position.
Bachelor of Applied Science graduates will be educated to own and/or manage a farming enterprise based on sound multifaceted production systems. The systems the student will study include (but not limited to) large animal, poultry, agronomic crops, horticultural crops, forest timber and non-timber products. All students will be expected to compose and compile a personal farm business plan with an agriculture and/or forestry emphasis. This is a technical degree.
Graduates will be able to:
- evaluate and select appropriate technical and business information to develop a collaborative management system.
- demonstrate the ability to appraise and adapt appropriate soil, water and crop management plans that follow sustainable agricultural production practices.
- evaluate and choose marketing strategies and determine appropriate markets for sustainable agricultural commodities.
- formulate specialized business skills for developing a small-scale sustainable agricultural business.
- use technology and software applications ethically and effectively to support a successful agricultural enterprise.
- demonstrate effective communication skills.
- apply the necessary skills for effective and efficient group work which are required in management groups that include: demonstrating personal initiative, assessment and critiques to improve the work environment.
Interested in entering the workforce dealing with food, agricultural and forestry products? Graduates of the AAS SAGE degree will be able to develop enterprises to address the expanding micro–scale production of wine/beer, craft food industries and food desert concerns within our region, and the farm-to-school and farm-to-table movements. The level of regional production for all agricultural and forestry crops will need to increase to meet these changing markets. The SAGE degree is aimed at those who are driven to learn the production and business skills to successfully meet this demand with safe and healthy products.
With increased education at the post-secondary level, the graduates of the BAS SAGE major will be able to move beyond the worker level to operations manager or enterprise owner. Employment of agricultural and food science technicians is projected to grow five percent from 2014 to 2024. Advances in technology and scientific knowledge related to food production will require greater control of production and processing activities, thereby increasing demand for these workers. The world’s population is now above 7 billion and increasing. Combining this increase in world population with the instability of the world security issues, graduating well-trained agriculture food production individuals will be a constant need.