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Field crop management is one of six majors in the integrated plant sciences bachelor's degree program.
The field crop management major is ideal for students interested in agronomy, crop production, and plant, soil, and pest management as it allows students the flexibility to choose a minor or specialize in an area of their choice. Crop scientists (or agronomists) are involved in improving food, feed, and fiber production.
- Strengths of the program
- Learn from professors who are among the most productive and creative in the nation, several of whom are members of the National Academy of Science.
- Learn skills that can help solve environmental and food problems or create enjoyable living conditions.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Receive top-quality classroom, field, and laboratory experiences required for well-paying careers in industry, government, and farming.
- Work with faculty whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Agriculture.
- Pursue direct research in such areas as organic crop production systems, plant breeding, biotechnology, groundwater contamination prevention, and turf and golf course management.
- WSU provides the state’s only four-year program in crop and soil sciences.
- Featured courses & program information
All the majors in the bachelor of science in integrated plant sciences degree — including field crop management — share a common set of core courses. All students will take a year of chemistry, a year of biology, and a statistics course, in addition to the core courses specified for the degree and major.
Some of the courses you could take as a field crop management major:
- HORT/CROP_SCI 102: Cultivated Plants
- HORT/CROP_SCI 202: Crop Growth & Development
- SOIL_SCI 201: Soil: A Living System
- IPM 201: Introduction to Pest Management in a Quality Environment
or IPM 452: Pesticides & Environment
- ENTOM 340: Agricultural Entomology or ENTOM 343: General Entomology
- CROP_SCI 411: Crop Environment Interactions
or HORT 416: Advanced Horticultural Crop Physiology
- PL_P 429: General Plant Pathology
- SOIL_SCI 441: Soil Fertility
- CROP_SCI 305: Ecology and Management of Weeds
- ECONS 350: Introduction to Farm and Ranch Management
or ECONS 352: Business Management Economics
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- 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.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For field crop management majors
In addition to general university scholarships and other financial aid, WSU offers scholarships for students in specific majors.
Field crop management students may be eligible for scholarships from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, which annually awards roughly $600,000 to students.
Students can apply for these scholarships by filling out the general WSU Scholarship Application on an annual basis.
The field crop management major is for students interested in careers such as certified crop advisors, consultants, field representatives, farm managers, and crop specialists.
Graduates qualify for careers in agribusiness, corporate and technical farm management, professional consulting, research, and sales positions.
What people usually do with this major
Crop scientists (or agronomists) are involved in improving food, feed, and fiber production. They study metabolic and developmental processes of crop plants and seeds, develop improved crop varieties through plant breeding and biotechnology, design sustainable crop production and management systems that conserve natural resources while enhancing crop yields, and investigate the impact of cropping systems on agricultural and nonagricultural ecosystems.
Where you'll find jobs
Jobs are available in government agencies, commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Here are some examples; this isn't a comprehensive list, but you can see that there are plenty of places to put your degree to work.
Government employers include:
- The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Cooperative Extension
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- The Washington State Department of Ecology, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Natural Resources
In private commercial industry, you might work for:
- Food processing companies
- Insurance agencies
- Commercial concerns dealing with farm products, fertilizers and agricultural chemicals, and seeds
International agriculture offers job opportunities and advanced study through such organizations as:
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The World Bank
- Various international research institutes
- Church-run agricultural development organizations
- The U.S. Peace Corps
Teaching, research, and extension careers are available in community colleges and universities for graduates with advanced degrees.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, beginning salary offers in 2005 for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences averaged $31,226 a year; and in other agricultural sciences, $33,850 a year.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards reports that the median annual earnings of agricultural scientists and food scientists were $48,670 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $35,770 and $65,990. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,460.
Washington state agricultural technician positions have a salary range between $26,600 and $42,900 in 2005.
Average salary for federal employees in agronomy in 2003 was $68,846.