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The fruit and vegetable management major is one of six majors in the integrated plant sciences bachelor's degree program.
Fruit and vegetable management offers specialization in the science and practice of growing, harvesting, handling, storing, processing, and marketing tree fruits, small fruits, and vegetables. Students will learn the most efficient and sustainable management practices, including state-of-the-art production systems, for the diverse fruit and vegetable crops produced in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
- Strengths of the program
- Benefit from advising and counseling services that are provided by the faculty, allowing students to receive individual guidance.
- Students have opportunities to be involved in research projects and work in research labs with faculty mentors.
- Learn from professors who are experts in genetic engineering, reproduction physiology, postharvest handling, plant culture, computer technology, water quality, and plant impacts on people.
- Benefit from the experiences and knowledge of more than 40 faculty members who are associated with the Department of Horticulture.
- Gain hands-on experience in first-rate laboratories, computer facilities, greenhouses, field plots, and a production orchard — all available to WSU horticulture students.
- Learn from world-recognized authorities in horticulture, many of whom have traveled widely to study international agriculture, cropping systems, small farms, and sustainable agriculture.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration, including departmental awards.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need. Get started here.
For students in fruit and vegetable management
Students in majors offered by the School of the Environment can be considered for scholarships from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, and the Department of Horticulture.
The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) annually awards more than $500,000 to students. For more information, see the CAHNRS scholarship page.
The Department of Horticulture awards about $30,000 in scholarships to more than 30 students annually. Visit the department's scholarship page for more information.
- Campus organizations and activities
The Horticulture Club is one of the largest and most successful student groups at Washington State University. Members participate in scholarship fund-raising projects such as plant sales and cider pressing, host guest scientists and industry representatives, and sponsor social events such as the annual winter holiday party, spring picnic, and the fall barbecue for new students.
Students also may participate at the regional level with the Western Association of Collegiate Horticulture Students and at the national level through the American Society for Horticultural Science.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
• Enjoy growing and using plants to benefit humanity
• Desire to know about cultivated plants and their dynamic responses to the environment
• Desire to develop strategies to optimize horticultural practices and find applications for biotechnology
• Desire to explore the nutritional, physical, and psychological interdependence among people, plants, and gardens
• Plans to enter graduate school in the plant sciences
With the prominence and importance of environmental issues, the job market has expanded for fruit, vegetable, and environmental horticulturists as research workers, extension specialists, teachers, professors, and scientists. Careers in some of these areas require education beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Horticulturists enjoy rewarding careers as production superintendents, marketing managers, inventory controllers, buyers, landscape maintenance specialists, landscape supervisors, interior plantscapers, bedding plant producers, education coordinators, and research and extension technicians and assistants.
Other possible careers include growers, farm managers, field personnel, brokers, shippers, warehouse and storage operators, handlers, processors, consultants, producers, and advertising and promotion specialists.
Where you'll find jobs
These positions are found in such various organizations as garden centers, nurseries, greenhouses, maintenance firms, florists, seed producers, bedding plant companies, bulb producers, wholesale distributors, handling and transportation firms, botanical gardens, schools and colleges, city parks, and arboretums.
Horticulturists are also employed by fruit and vegetable farms, vegetable seed companies, marketing and promotional organizations, produce firms, grading and packing businesses, storage operations, and manufacturers of production and harvest machinery, fertilizers, and agricultural chemicals.
International horticulture offers career opportunities in overseas supervision and technical assistance with commercial companies and international food programs. Volunteer opportunities are available with the Peace Corps and other humanitarian organizations.