The Agronomy major at the University of Minnesota Crookston places great importance on the essentials of career building. Hands-on learning offered through state-of-the-art laboratories and access to crop and soil research is enhanced by the 1600 acres of land located in close proximity to the campus. Graduates can find themselves working in local, state, and federal government agencies; farm and range management; and seed, fertilizer, chemical, and pesticide industries.
See how this highly technical field prepares students for a challenging career in many areas.
This program is also offered as...
- Experiential learning involves field trips to farms, conditioning plants, and various agricultural businesses as well as work in campus labs, greenhouses, and growth chambers.
- The Bergland Laboratory houses state-of-the-art equipment for scientific inquiry.
- Students gain real-world and research experience working with knowledgeable professors.
- Agronomy graduates have a job placement rate exceeding 93%.
- Our hands-on approach gives agronomy students solid knowledge of today's industry along with practical experience in the increasingly high-tech world of computers and precision agriculture.
- A capstone course and an internship field experience have our students obtaining direct industry experience and making professional career contacts.
- The flexibility of the program also allows students to prepare for graduate work in agronomy. Several UMC grads have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in agronomy and related sciences.
- Students' access to crop and soil research comes via the 1600-acre Northwest Research and Outreach Center adjacent to the campus.
- Our Collegiate Crops Judging Teams (2017 team below) have placed in the top three nationally for more than 20 years.
Program Requirements & Curriculum
Associated Clubs & Organizations
Associated Clubs & Organizations
Job opportunities consistently exceed the number of qualified graduates, with a continued bright outlook for young men and women. Graduates apply their knowledge in careers managing field production operations, grower technical services, new product research and development, and marketing.
Average salaries for agronomy graduates are traditionally among the highest of all agriculture graduates. According to a yearly survey by Iowa State University, the average salary range for entry-level agronomy and crop science graduates was nearly $44,000 in 2014/15 with a salary range of $25,000-$85,000 annually. For a list of detailed salary trends within this field visit the Iowa State Univeristy website.
Career Options Include:
- Agronomists (Crop production consultants)
- Agriculturists for private industry (such as American Crystal)
- Agriculture chemical, fertilizer, and seed sales representative
- Agronomy sales
- County agricultural extension agents
- Crop consultant
- Crop scout
- Crop improvement field representative
- Crop managers (Farm managers)
- Crop product sales and services
- Crop research technicians for private industry and universities
- Elevator managers
- Farm insurance agents
- Laboratory technicians
- Managers of farm service centers
- Natural resources conservationists and agents for government agencies
- Quality control experts for food processing
- Research associates with private plant breeding companies
- State Department of Agriculture
- Seed analysts
- Seed and grain inspectors
- Seed conditioning plant managers
- Seed and grain marketing experts
- Soil testing technicians
When Jordan Adams isn’t racing to finish the field work, he is racing against a field of competitors at the racetrack. Working a fourth generation farm near Reynolds, N.D., it seems only natural Adams would choose agronomy as his major at the University of Minnesota Crookston. “I feel a lot of pride in farming, and I think a lot of farmers do,” Adams says. “I know that if I am not farming, I want to be working in the farming industry.” It’s the reason he chose agronomy and the reason he chose the U of M Crookston to earn his degree. Learn more.
He enjoys growing plants now, but one day Caleb Rempel hopes to help future college students grow to their full potential. The Agronomy and Horticulture double major from Mountain Lake, Minn., has been involved in a number of projects on campus within his field of study. Last summer he helped lay groundwork for ongoing hops research monitoring evaporation rates and mulch usage with the young hops. Learn more.
When Amanda Monson started working with Jason Brantner, a researcher at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, she knew very little if anything about sugar beets. Now, she spends time learning about them every week. The student from Bottineau, N.D., is majoring in Agronomy, and her work at the Research Center came about after a tour during plant pathology class. Learn more.
Her major came as a bit of a surprise even to her. When Natalye Kobetsky, Grand Forks, N.D., transferred to the University of Minnesota Crookston, she planned to major in business management. And, she is, but the surprise came after visiting with friends and realizing she wanted to major in agriculture as well. So Kobetsky added a major in Agronomy and a minor in Agricultural Business to her major in business management. Learn more.
Ashley Hoffman, Dustin Smith and Brian Oachs, all seniors double majoring in Agronomy & Agricultural Business were featured in Agweek on September 30, 2013 in "When do they sleep?". Read about their experience at the U of M, Crookston and future plans!
Lauren (Stai) Proulx '12, a graduate of the Agronomy program, discusses her experience at UMC and just what made it special to her. Lauren is from Bemidji, Minnesota, and currently works as on-farm research coordinator and agronomist for the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Agronomy is administered through the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the U of M Crookston.
The UMC Advantage
The UMC Advantage
Small Campus. Big Degree.
Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.
Learning and Doing
At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.
Caring Faculty and Staff
Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.
A Technology-Rich Environment
At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.
Internships, Job Placement and Grad School
More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.
Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.
Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.
One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options
Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.
Leadership, Clubs and Athletics
Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…
In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.
A Diverse, Global Experience
The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.
Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.