Sustainable Agriculture

Emphasizing the farm-to-table concept

Sustainable Agriculture

Emphasizing the farm-to-table concept

Sustainable Agriculture

Emphasizing the farm-to-table concept

Our Sustainable Agriculture program is designed to provide you with knowledge and skills in agro-ecological sciences, natural resource management, and environmental conservation. With an emphasis on ‘small farm’ agriculture, you will learn how to sustainably manage production and operations as the foundation of a resilient and local food system.

SVC is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAgE) partnership with Seattle Central College (SCC), Edmonds Community College (ECC), Washington State University (WSU), and other higher education institutions and farm and food system organizations in an effort to provide diverse educational opportunities in sustainable agriculture and related fields. Students may substitute SVC SAgE courses with SCC or ECC SAgE courses, with Department Chair approval, if alternative SAgE courses are better suited to meet your educational or career goals.

 

Program Options

Our Sustainable Agriculture program is designed to provide you with a foundation of skills in sustainable agro-ecological sciences, natural resource management, and environmental conservation. Coursework is designed to provide you with the core agriculture-related knowledge and production-related topics needed to succeed, as well as courses in marketing, value added, and business. The program emphasizes small-acreage farming with a farm-to-table concept.

Degree Paths

Environmental Sustainable Agriculture Education, AAS-T
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Certificate Options

Sustainable Small Farm Agriculture Applied Planning and Management (Level I) Micro-Certificate
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Sustainable Small Farm Agriculture Applied Planning and Management (Level II) Micro-Certificate
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Sustainable Small Farm Agriculture Systems Certificate
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Program Courses

Courses List
ENVAG 101 - Agroecology: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture

ENVAG 101 - Agroecology: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture

(5)
Survey of agroecology, a multi-disciplinary field that applies ecological principles to the analysis and management of agriculture systems. Explore ways to create abundance and reduce external inputs by enhancing nutrient cycling, energy flow, and beneficial interactions. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 103 - Horticulture Plant Science

ENVAG 103 - Horticulture Plant Science

(4)
The structure, function, classification, and ecology of vascular plants are explored in this introductory botany course, with an emphasis on cultivated and native plants of the Pacific Northwest. None

ENVAG 104 - Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture

ENVAG 104 - Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture

(1)
Introduction to sustainable agriculture including career opportunities. Covers farm to table principles and how different cultures interact with food. Includes student success skills.

ENVAG 106 - Soil Science and Conservation

ENVAG 106 - Soil Science and Conservation

(5)
Study of soils as living ecosystems, including their physical, chemical, and biological properties. Nutrient cycling, fertility management, soil building, and site diagnosis and classification are also examined. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 122 - Plant Propagation

ENVAG 122 - Plant Propagation

(5)
Propagation of plants from vegetative and reproductive tissues and organs. Plant propagation techniques are used to multiply selected plants and preserve their essential genetic characteristics and is essential to the success of production agriculture, ornamental horticulture, and native species. Covers the concepts of sexual and asexual plant propagation, seed collecting, and the principles and techniques of propagation by seed and cuttings along with techniques for laboratory, greenhouse, and orchard propagation. Includes handling, preparation, treatment and rooting of cuttings; grafting tools and preparation of grafts; and a field trip to examine how micropropagation in tissue culture is accomplished. None

ENVAG 199 - Internship in Sustainable Agriculture

ENVAG 199 - Internship in Sustainable Agriculture

(1-15)
Supervised work experience in the field. The internship will augment the classroom learning by applying skills and knowledge learned in an agriculture-related enterprise. Students will be mentored by business professionals who are experienced practitioners in the field, and practice the work skills required to be successful in their chosen field. In partnership with the instructor and the mentor, learning objectives will be determined by the students internship/work experience placement. Includes a weekly seminar. Prerequisite: Instructor permission required

ENVAG 221 - Greenhouse-Nursery Operations

ENVAG 221 - Greenhouse-Nursery Operations

(5)
Introduction to greenhouse management and production. Hands-on approach to exploring greenhouse/nursery operations and basic plant production requirements. Includes a study of greenhouse structures and the management of the greenhouse environment including greenhouse light and lighting, air movement/ventilation and temperature control along with irrigation, fertilizers, pest and disease management and other production issues to create an optimum growing environment for the production of ornamental and vegetable plants. Environmental factors affecting plant growth, manipulating the greenhouse environment, soil and water testing, and nursery operations including production planning and determining cost and profit are emphasized. Laboratory and field trips to commercial operations will be included. None

ENVAG 224 - Orchard Crop Production

ENVAG 224 - Orchard Crop Production

(5)
Tree fruit and nut, berry, vine, and uncommon fruit production for orchards, focusing on cultivar selection, cultural requirements, propagation methods, management techniques, harvesting practices, and biodiverse orchard design. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 227 - Greenhouse Crop Production

ENVAG 227 - Greenhouse Crop Production

(3)
Greenhouse management for small farm to commercial scale production, including structure selection, laws and regulations, control over the growing environment, and crop production and health. Students produce a greenhouse management plan. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 228 - Row Crop Production

ENVAG 228 - Row Crop Production

(5)
Fundamentals of row crop production in the Pacific Northwest. Covers site and equipment evaluation, crop scheduling and rotation, fertility and irrigation management, and insect and disease control, as well as crop specific and market considerations for seasonal production. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 231 - Post-Harvest to Local Market Operations

ENVAG 231 - Post-Harvest to Local Market Operations

(3)
Study local food system development, food physiology, and food security, safety, and quality issues through exposure to real world postharvest and direct market operations, with an emphasis on small farm agriculture enterprises. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 241 - Livestock Management

ENVAG 241 - Livestock Management

(1-3)
The study of how livestock management can be incorporated into a farm plan. Management of various livestock species, demographic management, forage management, as well as manure management. Includes management of diseases and parasites. None

ENVAG 242 - Dairy Management

ENVAG 242 - Dairy Management

(1-3)
Focuses on dairy production from several ungulate species and the equipment and hygiene requirements needed. Includes man-hour needs and other cost estimates, and evaluations of value added products like cheeses. None

ENVAG 243 - Marketing Agriculture Products

ENVAG 243 - Marketing Agriculture Products

(1-3)
Focuses on sustainable agriculture niche products. Emphasis is on value added costs and potential revenues, processing, grading, packaging, packing, storing and transport requirements of various farm products. Includes food safety regulations, practices and limitations. None

ENVAG 270 - Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching

ENVAG 270 - Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching

(5)
Explore small farm models and entrepreneurship, and conceive of and draft a whole farm management plan. Learn to assess site conditions and user needs and manage small farm facilities and equipment, natural resources, plants and animals, and cropping systems and practices. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 271 - Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Planning

ENVAG 271 - Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Planning

(5)
Explore small farm models and entrepreneurship, and conceive of and draft a whole farm business plan. Gain practical knowledge and skills in agricultural business development, market research, and record keeping and finances in the context of farm and ranch production strategies. Field trips are an integral part of this course. None

ENVAG 297 - Research in Sustainable Agriculture

ENVAG 297 - Research in Sustainable Agriculture

(1-15)
Independent study and research on a topic related to sustainable agriculture, with guidance provided by a research mentor. An introduction to the scientific method, critical thinking, and technical communication for self motivated learners. Should be taken within the last two quarters of the program. Registration permitted in the first seven weeks as space is available. None

ENVAG 298 - Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

ENVAG 298 - Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

(1-15)
Hands on practical experience managing a small farm enterprise for aspiring practitioners. Apply weekly on farm education and training to seasonally appropriate operational and production tasks at the SAgE Skagit Valley Student Farm. Should be taken within the last two quarters of the program. Registration permitted in the first seven weeks as space is available. None

Courses List

 

Outcomes

Graduates of our Environmental Sustainable Agriculture program will be able to:

  • Describe the ecological principles that support agro-ecosystems at different geographic and economic scales, including the significance of plant diversity and soil properties and processes to terrestrial ecosystems and human societies.
  • Select and grow bio-regionally appropriate vegetable, bush, and tree crops according to their site-specific growth and cultural requirements within polycultural intercropping, succession planting, crop rotation, and season extension systems.
  • Design, plan, and operate a small farm agricultural enterprise from greenhouse propagation to local direct market sales through the development and implementation of whole farm management and business plans.
  • Discuss how the emergence, growth, and practice of small farm agriculture affect the sustainability of local and global food systems, and how those systems, in turn, relate to associated fields in natural resource management and environmental conservation.
  • Demonstrate a synthesis of existing and new knowledge and skills and the ability to work as part of a team and independently within a sustainable agriculture internship, practicum, or research work environment.
Program Costs

Program cost information available for Certificate Options only

We emphasize small-acreage farming with a farm-to-table concept.

Turn your interest in sustainable agriculture into your career passion!

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