Sustainable agriculture is an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long-term, satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
California is home to the largest food and agricultural economy in the nation. California’s farmers and ranchers have made this state the leader in agricultural production for more than 50 years. With 350 crops and an agricultural economy that exceeds $28 billion, the rest of the world looks to California to see what’s next in agriculture.
TRANSFER MAJOR REQUIREMENTS in Agriculture are available in the Counseling Center. In all cases, students should consult with a counselor for specific transfer requirements.
Students enrolled in the Agriculture courses receive both theoretical scientific knowledge and practical hands-on training—both very necessary to become successful in a career in agriculture. Students also learn about the complex interrelationships between agriculture, the environment, political and social forces and other sectors of the economy.
The Agriculture Department offers A.S. degrees and certificates in Agriculture, Animal Science, Equine Studies and Suburban Agriculture. All of the agriculture programs are designed to be student-centered and offer flexibility in course offerings allowing students to customize each degree based on their specific interests and career or educational goals.
The Sustainable Agriculture major combines the skills and knowledge to incorporate economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility in food and farming systems. This broad-based degree/certificate combines plant and soil science, animal science and business in a hands-on approach to prepare students for the workforce or for transfer to a four-year institution. In all cases, students should consult with a counselor for more information on university admission and transfer requirements. For the degree, students must fulfill the following major requirements with grades of “C” or better, complete a minimum of 60 degree-applicable semester units (12 of which must be completed at Sierra College) with a grade point average of at least 2.0 and complete one of the following three general education patterns:
A certificate is designed to provide career technical skills; it is not equivalent to an associate degree.
Designed to give students the small sustainable farm business management knowledge and abilities to successfully enter the workforce as a small farm owner or manager. This skills certificate focuses on skills and knowledge relative to the principles of agribusiness management, sustainable agriculture and direct farm marketing. This is a specialty certificate designed to provide career technical skills; it is not equivalent to an associate degree.