Girl in greenhouse

Agricultural Technology Degree


Earn an agricultural technology 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 Technology Degree

The agricultural technology degree prepares students to work on the production and technology sides of agriculture (see Career Options below).

While taking both SMC and MSU classes at SMC, students may, depending on the MSU certificate program chosen, learn about:

  • Plant Biology
  • Soil and Crops Science
  • Insect Pests of Michigan Crops
  • Plant Diseases
  • Agricultural Regulations, Compliance and Safety
  • Irrigation
  • Farm Management
  • Greenhouse Management
  • Pruning and Training Methods in Fruit, Vegetable and Greenhouse Production Systems
  • Fruit and Vegetable Production
  • Tree Fruits
  • Using GPS and GIS Technology in the Field

Students round out their coursework with general education classes in chemistry, economics, small business management and more.


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 general ed classes to earn an associate degree in agricultural technology from SMC.

Learn more about MSU certificates here.


Career Options

Field Crop Scouts
Field or Lab Technicians
Greenhouse, Orchard or Vegetable Farm Supervisors
Assistant Growers
Sales Representatives

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.