Organic Agriculture Systems (BS)
Significantly different than conventional agriculture, organic food production is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture, with retail sales increasing by 20 percent annually since 1991. In many ways, Washington State has been a leader in this burgeoning new industry. This revolutionary new major is the first of its kind to be offered in the United States. Students in this major take a diverse array of courses in the natural, environmental, economic and social sciences, as well as a number of courses focused on organic production practices. Students wanting a hands-on degree experience thrive in the organic major. WSU has over a four-acre certified organic teaching farm where students learn to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that they distribute through local food banks, on-campus food service, a 100-member CSA (community supported agriculture), and a local farmers' market. Students have the opportunity to tailor their program of study to specific areas of emphasis, such as organic animal and dairy production, economics and marketing, crop production, food science, pest management, soil management, etc. in consultation with their advisor. The Organic Agriculture Program at WSU prepares students to work on or develop their own organic farm. It also prepares students for employment opportunities with nonprofit organizations and government agencies involved in environmental and food safety, as well as private-sector food processing, marketing, organic certification, and product development industries.