Agribusiness Technology

This program prepares individuals to manage agricultural businesses and agriculturally related operations within diversified corporations.

Potential course work includes instruction in agriculture, agricultural specialization, business management, accounting, finance, marketing, planning, human resources management, and other managerial responsibilities. Students will also learn the basic principles of our economic system and government policies and programs relating to agriculture.

Graduates should qualify for a variety of jobs in agricultural businesses such as equipment, feed, and agricultural supply sales; store management; farm operations; wholesale and retail produce management; nursery operations; and environmental and agricultural education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the role of agribusiness in the US and how it impacts the local community.
  • Apply the use of animal, horticulture, forestry, and sustainable agriculture production in an agribusiness model.
  • Analyze various agricultural economic principles and articulate the impact that those principles have on domestic and global economics.
  • Demonstrate the impact of basic laws affecting the agriculture industry.
  • Demonstrate the role of marketing in agribusiness technology and apply core marketing principles to the development of agribusiness strategy and decision-making process
  • Create a comprehensive agriculture business plan applying the concepts in agriculture marketing, management, economics, and law.

Job Outlook

Annual demand for Animal/Livestock Husbandry and Production in our service area is currently 160 job openings. This is expected to decrease by 0.86% in the next year.

Annual demand for Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General in our service area is currently 166 job openings. This is expected to decrease by 0.13% in the next year.

Contact Information

Image of Donna Riddle
Donna Riddle, MS
Instructor - Horticulture
Phone: 336-838-6435
deriddle368@wilkescc.edu
Image of Frank Blevins
Frank Blevins, BS
Lead Instructor - Animal Science
Phone: 336-838-6188
fdblevins615@wilkescc.edu

Pathways

Course Requirements

    First Year - Fall Semester
    • ACA 115 Success & Study Skills

      This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

    • AGR 170 Soil Science

      This course covers the basic principles of soil management and fertilization. Topics include liming, fertilization, soil management, biological properties of soil (including beneficial microorganisms), sustainable land care practices and the impact on soils, and plant nutrients. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze, evaluate, and properly amend soils/media according to sustainable practices.

    • AGR 214 Agricultural Marketing

      This course covers basic marketing principles for agricultural products. Topics include buying, selling, processing, standardizing, grading, storing, and marketing of agricultural commodities. Upon completion, students should be able to construct a marketing plan for an agricultural product.

    • ANS 110 Animal Science

      This course introduces the livestock industry. Topics include nutrition, reproduction, production practices, diseases, meat processing, sustainable livestock production, and marketing. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of livestock production practices and the economic impact of livestock locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

    • ANS 130 Poultry Production

      This course provides an introduction to the poultry industry. Topics include anatomy and physiology, reproduction, incubation, environmental issues, and husbandry. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of poultry production and the economic and environmental impact of the poultry industry locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

    • CIS 111 Basic PC Literacy

      This course provides an overview of computer concepts. Emphasis is placed on the use of personal computers and software applications for personal and fundamental workplace use. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate basic personal computer skills.

    • HOR 253 Horticulture Turfgrass

      This course covers information and skill development necessary to establish and manage landscape turfgrasses. Topics include grass identification, establishment, cultural requirements, application of control products, fertilization, and overseeding techniques. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze a landscape site and determine those cultural and physical activities needed to establish or mange a quality turf.

    First Year - Spring Semester
    • AGR 139 Intro to Sustainable Ag

      This course will provide students with a clear perspective on the principles, history and practices of sustainable agriculture in our local and global communities. Students will be introduced to the economic, environmental and social impacts of agriculture. Upon completion, students will be able to identify the principles of sustainable agriculture as they relate to basic production practices.

    • AGR 212 Farm Business Management

      This course introduces budgeting, farm analysis, production costs, business organizations, and general management principles. Topics include enterprise budgets, partial budgets, whole farm budgets, income analysis, and business organizations. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and analyze a farm budget.

    • AGR 213 Ag Law & Finance

      This course covers the basic laws and financial aspects affecting agriculture. Topics include environmental laws, labor laws, contractual business operations, assets, liabilities, net worth, and funding sources. Upon completion, students should be able to complete loan application procedures and explain basic laws affecting the agricultural industry.

    • ENG 110 Freshman Composition

      This course is designed to develop informative and business writing skills. Emphasis is placed on logical organization of writing, including effective introductions and conclusions, precise use of grammar, and appropriate selection and use of sources. Upon completion, students should be able to produce clear, concise, well-organized short papers.

    • MAT 110 Math Measurement & Literacy

      This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy using technology to solve problems for non-math intensive programs. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; financial literacy; and statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and charting of data. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the use of mathematics and technology to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

    First Year - Summer Term
    • AGR 130 Alternative Ag Production

      This course covers the latest nontraditional enterprises in agriculture. Topics include animal production, aquaculture, and plant production. Upon completion, students should be able to identify selected enterprises and describe basic production practices.

    • WBL 111 Work-Based Learning I

      This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

    Second Year - Fall Semester
    • ANS 120 Beef Production

      This course provides an introduction to the beef cattle industry. Topics include reproduction, cattle management, marketing, anatomy and physiology, and pasture management (including sustainable practices). Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of beef cattle production practices and the economic and environmental impact of the beef cattle industry locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

    • ANS 170 Sheep & Goat Production

      This course provides an introduction to sheep and goat production. Topics include reproduction, marketing, and production practices specific to each species. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of sheep and goat production practices and the economic impact of each.

    • ECO 151 Survey of Economics

      This course, for those who have not received credit for ECO 251 or 252, introduces basic concepts of micro- and macroeconomics. Topics include supply and demand, optimizing economic behavior, prices and wages, money, interest rates, banking system, unemployment, inflation, taxes, government spending, and international trade. Upon completion, students should be able to explain alternative solutions for economic problems faced by private and government sectors.

    • FOR 171 Intro to Forest Resources

      This course introduces the relationships within the forest and its various uses. Emphasis is placed on forest history, ecology, protection, management, policies, and practices. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss the relationship of the forest and its use to the welfare of mankind.

    • FOR 275 Natural Resources Issues

      This course provides an opportunity to explore natural resource topics of common interest. Emphasis is placed on special topics and organized field trips to expand student knowledge. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the issues explored.

    • HOR 225 Nursery Production

      This course covers all aspects of nursery crop production. Emphasis is placed on field production and covers soils, nutrition, irrigation, pest control, and harvesting. Upon completion, students should be able to produce a marketable nursery crop.

    Second Year - Spring Semester
    • AGR 110 Agricultural Economics

      This course provides an introduction to basic economic principles in agriculture. Topics include supply and demand, the role of agriculture in the economy, economic systems, and micro- and macroeconomics. Upon completion, students should be able to explain economic systems, interpret supply and demand curves, and complete cost and revenue production schedules.

    • AGR 140 Agricultural Chemicals

      This course covers all aspects of agricultural chemicals. Topics include safety, environmental effects, federal and state laws, pesticide classification, sprayer calibration, and licensing. Upon completion, students should be able to calibrate a sprayer, give proper pesticide recommendations (using integrated pest management), and demonstrate safe handling of pesticides.

    • COM 231 Public Speaking

      This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.

    • HOR 235 Greenhouse Production

      This course covers the production of greenhouse crops. Emphasis is placed on product selection and production based on market needs and facility availability, including record keeping. Upon completion, students should be able to select and make production schedules to successfully produce greenhouse crops.

    • HUM 110 Technology and Society

      This course considers technological change from historical, artistic, and philosophical perspectives and its effect on human needs and concerns. Emphasis is placed on the causes and consequences of technological change. Upon completion, students should be able to critically evaluate the implications of technology.

    Course Requirements

      Fall Semester
      • ACA 115 Success & Study Skills

        This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

      • AGR 170 Soil Science

        This course covers the basic principles of soil management and fertilization. Topics include liming, fertilization, soil management, biological properties of soil (including beneficial microorganisms), sustainable land care practices and the impact on soils, and plant nutrients. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze, evaluate, and properly amend soils/media according to sustainable practices.

      • AGR 214 Agricultural Marketing

        This course covers basic marketing principles for agricultural products. Topics include buying, selling, processing, standardizing, grading, storing, and marketing of agricultural commodities. Upon completion, students should be able to construct a marketing plan for an agricultural product.

      • ANS 110 Animal Science

        This course introduces the livestock industry. Topics include nutrition, reproduction, production practices, diseases, meat processing, sustainable livestock production, and marketing. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of livestock production practices and the economic impact of livestock locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

      • ANS 130 Poultry Production

        This course provides an introduction to the poultry industry. Topics include anatomy and physiology, reproduction, incubation, environmental issues, and husbandry. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of poultry production and the economic and environmental impact of the poultry industry locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

      • CIS 111 Basic PC Literacy

        This course provides an overview of computer concepts. Emphasis is placed on the use of personal computers and software applications for personal and fundamental workplace use. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate basic personal computer skills.

      • HOR 253 Horticulture Turfgrass

        This course covers information and skill development necessary to establish and manage landscape turfgrasses. Topics include grass identification, establishment, cultural requirements, application of control products, fertilization, and overseeding techniques. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze a landscape site and determine those cultural and physical activities needed to establish or mange a quality turf.

      Spring Semester
      • AGR 139 Intro to Sustainable Ag

        This course will provide students with a clear perspective on the principles, history and practices of sustainable agriculture in our local and global communities. Students will be introduced to the economic, environmental and social impacts of agriculture. Upon completion, students will be able to identify the principles of sustainable agriculture as they relate to basic production practices.

      • AGR 212 Farm Business Management

        This course introduces budgeting, farm analysis, production costs, business organizations, and general management principles. Topics include enterprise budgets, partial budgets, whole farm budgets, income analysis, and business organizations. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and analyze a farm budget.

      • AGR 213 Ag Law & Finance

        This course covers the basic laws and financial aspects affecting agriculture. Topics include environmental laws, labor laws, contractual business operations, assets, liabilities, net worth, and funding sources. Upon completion, students should be able to complete loan application procedures and explain basic laws affecting the agricultural industry.

      • ENG 110 Freshman Composition

        This course is designed to develop informative and business writing skills. Emphasis is placed on logical organization of writing, including effective introductions and conclusions, precise use of grammar, and appropriate selection and use of sources. Upon completion, students should be able to produce clear, concise, well-organized short papers.

      • MAT 110 Math Measurement & Literacy

        This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy using technology to solve problems for non-math intensive programs. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; financial literacy; and statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and charting of data. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the use of mathematics and technology to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

      Summer Term
      • AGR 130 Alternative Ag Production

        This course covers the latest nontraditional enterprises in agriculture. Topics include animal production, aquaculture, and plant production. Upon completion, students should be able to identify selected enterprises and describe basic production practices.

      • WBL 111 Work-Based Learning I

        This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

      Course Requirements

      • AGR 110 Agricultural Economics

        This course provides an introduction to basic economic principles in agriculture. Topics include supply and demand, the role of agriculture in the economy, economic systems, and micro- and macroeconomics. Upon completion, students should be able to explain economic systems, interpret supply and demand curves, and complete cost and revenue production schedules.

      • AGR 212 Farm Business Management

        This course introduces budgeting, farm analysis, production costs, business organizations, and general management principles. Topics include enterprise budgets, partial budgets, whole farm budgets, income analysis, and business organizations. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and analyze a farm budget.

      • AGR 213 Ag Law & Finance

        This course covers the basic laws and financial aspects affecting agriculture. Topics include environmental laws, labor laws, contractual business operations, assets, liabilities, net worth, and funding sources. Upon completion, students should be able to complete loan application procedures and explain basic laws affecting the agricultural industry.

      • AGR 214 Agricultural Marketing

        This course covers basic marketing principles for agricultural products. Topics include buying, selling, processing, standardizing, grading, storing, and marketing of agricultural commodities. Upon completion, students should be able to construct a marketing plan for an agricultural product.

      Course Requirements

      • AGR 170 Soil Science

        This course covers the basic principles of soil management and fertilization. Topics include liming, fertilization, soil management, biological properties of soil (including beneficial microorganisms), sustainable land care practices and the impact on soils, and plant nutrients. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze, evaluate, and properly amend soils/media according to sustainable practices.

      • ANS 110 Animal Science

        This course introduces the livestock industry. Topics include nutrition, reproduction, production practices, diseases, meat processing, sustainable livestock production, and marketing. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of livestock production practices and the economic impact of livestock locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

      • ANS 130 Poultry Production

        This course provides an introduction to the poultry industry. Topics include anatomy and physiology, reproduction, incubation, environmental issues, and husbandry. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of poultry production and the economic and environmental impact of the poultry industry locally, regionally, state-wide, and internationally.

      • HOR 253 Horticulture Turfgrass

        This course covers information and skill development necessary to establish and manage landscape turfgrasses. Topics include grass identification, establishment, cultural requirements, application of control products, fertilization, and overseeding techniques. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze a landscape site and determine those cultural and physical activities needed to establish or mange a quality turf.

      Course Requirements

      • AGR 130 Alternative Ag Production

        This course covers the latest nontraditional enterprises in agriculture. Topics include animal production, aquaculture, and plant production. Upon completion, students should be able to identify selected enterprises and describe basic production practices.

      • AGR 139 Intro to Sustainable Ag

        This course will provide students with a clear perspective on the principles, history and practices of sustainable agriculture in our local and global communities. Students will be introduced to the economic, environmental and social impacts of agriculture. Upon completion, students will be able to identify the principles of sustainable agriculture as they relate to basic production practices.

      • FOR 171 Intro to Forest Resources

        This course introduces the relationships within the forest and its various uses. Emphasis is placed on forest history, ecology, protection, management, policies, and practices. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss the relationship of the forest and its use to the welfare of mankind.

      • FOR 275 Natural Resources Issues

        This course provides an opportunity to explore natural resource topics of common interest. Emphasis is placed on special topics and organized field trips to expand student knowledge. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the issues explored.

      • HOR 225 Nursery Production

        This course covers all aspects of nursery crop production. Emphasis is placed on field production and covers soils, nutrition, irrigation, pest control, and harvesting. Upon completion, students should be able to produce a marketable nursery crop.

      Technical Standards

      The Agribusiness Technology program technical standards have been developed to inform students of the nonacademic essential functions of the program and profession. Examples are not all inclusive.

      Standard Essential Function Examples
      Communication
      Oral / Written
      • Skills sufficient to communicate information and ideas so others will understand
      • Communicate in a professional manner with coworkers and customers
      • Read and understand work orders, instruction manuals, material safety data sheets and warning signs
      Mobility / Motor Skills
      • Motor skills sufficient to move the hands and use hands to grasp or manipulate objects
      • Mobility sufficient to maneuver in varied terrain
      • Mobility sufficient to perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving the whole body
      • Ability to safely operate in and around machinery
      • Ability to safely operate light equipment
      • Use hand tools and laboratory equipment
      • Move in terrain such as uphill, downhill, gravel, pavement, dirt, etc.
      • Physical activities may include:
        • Stooping
        • Reaching
        • Squatting
        • Lifting
        • Bending
      • Safely operate farm machinery
      • Use light equipment such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, pest control equipment
      Physical Strength and Stamina
      • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds
      • Ability to work reasonable required hours
      • Ability to maintain balance
      • Carry and transfer bagged animal feed
      • Carry bagged fertilizer and potting mixes
      • Work an eight-hour shift with mandated breaks
      • Work on slippery or uneven surfaces
      Sensory

      • Sight
      • Sound
      • Taste
      • Touch
      • Smell
      • Visual skills sufficient to see details at close range
      • Ability to distinguish colors, shades, and textures of various materials
      • Ability to tolerate scents/dander
      • Ability to hear equipment to address maintenance issue
      • Ability to touch and locate anatomy on animals
      • Recognize the effects of animal health
      • Encounter scents and or dander related to animals, feeds, or waste
      • Determine different varieties of plants
      • Detect odors related to potentially toxic or poisonous substances (plants, chemicals)
      • Recognize a malfunctioning fan motor
      • Locate a vein on an animal to draw blood
      Environmental / Occupational Exposure
      • Possible exposure to common allergens
      • Possible exposure to extreme weather conditions
      • Possible exposure to chemicals and fumes
      • Able to tolerate variations in lighting
      • Chemicals, toxins, dust, fumes, fertilizer, pesticides, fuel, etc.
      • Allergens such as hay, grass, pollen
      • Prolonged periods in various outdoor climates (heat, cold, rain)
      Field or Industry Professional Standards
      • Safely work with livestock and machinery
      • Continue industry education
      • Visit farms and diagnose livestock and equipment issues
      • Attend workshops, tradeshows, maintain certification CEUs

      Disability Services Statement

      Wilkes Community College is an ADA compliant institution. WCC does not discriminate based on a disability in the admissions process or in access to its programs, services, and/or activities for qualified individuals who meet eligibility requirements. WCC will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented disabilities who are eligible to receive or participate in college programs, services, and/or activities. If a student believes that he/she cannot meet one or more of a program’s essential functions without accommodations, the student is encouraged to disclose this to Disability Services as soon as possible.

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