Agricultural Business Degree


Earn an agricultural business degree with a Michigan State University certificate right here at Southwestern Michigan College!

A unique partnership with Michigan State University brings MSU’s world-renown agricultural education to SMC.

About Careers in Agriculture

Agriculture plays an invaluable role in how the world functions because it fills our most basic needs: food, shelter, clothing and environmental beauty.

As society increasingly recognizes the importance of agriculture, career opportunities in agriculture become more varied. Working in agriculture does not simply mean working on a farm. Agricultural professionals work in many different kinds of environments and are needed to analyze and optimize soil health; maximize crop yield; operate drones to detect crop diseases; sell seeds and equipment; provide loans, advice, insurance and more.

A degree in agriculture from SMC, partnered with an MSU certificate, will prepare you to join the force of people working to keep the world fed and healthy.

About the Agricultural Business Degree

The agricultural business degree is for students who want to run an ag-related business or work in ag sales or customer relations.

While taking both SMC and MSU classes at SMC, students will learn about:

  • Plant Biology
  • Farm Management
  • Soil Science
  • Weeds Management
  • Plant Diseases
  • Insect Pests of Crops
  • Ag Regulations and Safety
  • Water Management
  • Crop Science or Fruit or Vegetable Management
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Economics
  • Small Business Management
  • Statistics

Depending on the certificate path chosen, students may also learn about:

  • Precision Ag Technologies
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Agricultural Employee Management
  • Greenhouse or Passive Solar Greenhouse Management
  • Compost Production
  • Drones in Agriculture
  • Pollinators and Beekeeping

Students graduate with practical business skills as well as a strong background in agriculture.

Those wishing to further their education may pair the ag business associate degree with a bachelor’s degree in business management-professional track from Ferris State University at SMC. Courses may also transfer to other institutions; see an advisor for details.


Michigan State University at Southwestern Michigan College

How the Partnership Works

Students complete a Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology certificate in either Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management or Agricultural Operations at SMC. They pair the MSU classes, which count as roughly half of an associate degree, with SMC business and general ed classes to earn an associate degree in agricultural business from SMC.

Learn more about MSU certificates here.


Career Options

Food Safety Technician
Produce, Farm Market Sales
Equipment Sales
Fertilizer and Seed Sales
Crop Insurance
Farm Credit/Loans

What’s the Difference Between the Agricultural Technology and Agricultural Business Degrees?

The ag tech degree is for those who want to work more hands-on with plants or animals on a farm, in orchards or in a greenhouse setting.

The ag business degree is for those who want to work on the business side of agriculture or farming, such as running a small farm, ag-related sales, ag insurance or ag loans.


See It Now!

Click here for images of the William P.D. O'Leary Building, home to all agriculture and science classes, or click here to schedule a tour.