Agriculture Minor


A program that focuses on the general principles and practice of agricultural research and production and that may prepare individuals to apply this knowledge to the solution of practical agricultural problems. Includes instruction in basic animal, plant, and soil science; plant cultivation; nutrition; soil conservation; technical writing; food policy and agricultural operations such as farming, ranching, and agricultural business. 

Catalog Year




Total Credits




Career Cluster

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

Program Requirements


Introduction to written and visual communication of technical information in agricultural contexts. Through rhetorical analysis, collaborative and independent writing, and usability testing, students will learn strategies to produce clear, concise, accurate, and effective documents and presentations.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines basic business concepts and principles and their application to modern and future agriculture industries. Agribusiness topics covered include commodities, supply chain, finance, sales, accounting, law, engineering, food safety, healthcare, data analysis, and technology. Professionals in the agriculture industry will be brought into class to explain how business knowledge and skills are essential to various sectors; including but not limited to: livestock, poultry, corn/soybeans, bio-fuels, engineering, and natural resources. Students will have an opportunity to broaden their thinking, understanding, and professional potential as related to the agriculture industry while interacting with industry professionals.

Prerequisites: none

Choose 4 Credit(s).

Study of biological processes at the organismal level including a survey of life forms (viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals), their evolution, and ecology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design.

Prerequisites: none

An introduction to the multidisciplinary field of soil science and fertility. The course will examine the basic physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils. Further topics will explore soil genesis, soil health and management, and their relationships to crop production. Field trips and lab activities will be used to explore key concepts, with emphasis on examples relevant to the soils of southern Minnesota. Local field trips included.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-03, GE-10

Restricted Electives

Choose 3 - 4 Credit(s). GEOG 480 - Seminar: Agriculture and Environment only

Applications of principles from ecology, genetics, behavior, demography, economics, philosophy, and other fields to the conservation and sustainable use of natural populations of plants and animals. Lectures and discussions address topics such as habitat fragmentation, parks and reserves, genetic diversity, population viability, and extinction.

Prerequisites: BIOL 215 or consent

To provide students the values and functions of wetlands and to use wetlands as an example of the relationship of ecology to management, and the impact that classification systems have politically. Lab (fieldwork) included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 215

This class examines the effects of natural and human-induced changes in climate on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The course focuses on the science behind global change issues that have biological, social, and economic implicatons.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 215 or consent

Soil ecology will focus on the genesis and classification of soils, the physical properties of soil as they relate to habitat formation, niches, interactions that exist among soil organisms, human impact on soil systems relative to population pressures and management practices. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 215, or consent

Morphological, physiological, medical, and economic significance of insects.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106 or consent

This course will explore the structure and function of the vertebrate body in its diverse forms from fishes to mammals. Discussion of individual organ systems will focus on developmental patterns, function and evolutionary relationships. The lab will include microanatomy (histology) and macroanatomy (gross anatomy) of example organisms. Students will become familiar with the tissue, organ and system levels of the anatomy of vertebrates.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 306

Plant functions such as water relations, mineral nutrition, translocation, metabolisms, photosynthesis, photorespiration, fat and protein metabolism, respiration, growth and development, phytohormones, reproduction and environmental physiology. Lab included. (One semester organic chemistry is recommended.)

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 217, one semester organic chemistry recommended.

This course will introduce students to the principles and practices of weed science. Lecture will cover topics including weed biology and ecology, an introduction to weed management techniques and methodologies, factors affecting weed control, and environmental issues associated with weed management. Course material will highlight weed management in cropping systems, non-row crop and right-of-ways, natural areas, and aquatic habitats. The laboratory component of the course will focus on weed identification, crop/weed competition, application techniques including effective herbicide use and current weed control practices.In addition to the the prerequisites listed, BIOL 217 is strongly recommended.

Prerequisites: BIOL 215, BIOL 217

Lecture/laboratory course that presents an integrated view of plant biology, crop science, ecology, sustainability and current issues in biotechnology. Course focuses on issues of global concern such as sustainable food production, cropping techniques, climate change responses, pest management and herbicides, resistance, biofuels, genetically modified crops, molecular pharming, and tissue culture. Fall.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106

Role of microorganisms in soil, air, water, sewage processes as well as methods of measurement and detection. Special emphasis on the role of microorganisms in bioremediation. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and BIOL 270

The role microbes play in production and spoilage of food products, as prepared for mass market. Topics include foodborn pathogens, epidemiology and control, essential principles in sanitation including Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point and ISO 9000 requirements. Lab included.

Prerequisites: BIOL 105, BIOL 106 and BIOL 270

Introduction to rural and agricultural transportation topics including transport economics, freight transportation, multimodal issues and asset management. Introduction to driver, pedestrian, and vehicular characteristics. Traffic characteristics; highway capacity; traffic studies and analyses. Principles of traffic control for improved highway traffic service. Includes significant design component.

Prerequisites: CIVE 370W

Animals and Literature is a required class for the Human-Animal Studies minor. The course examines literature focusing on animals from various time periods, genres, and geographical locations. By analyzing the role of animals in various literary texts, students will develop a greater understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships, will be exposed to ethical issues surrounding human-animal relationships, and will understand and engage in theoretical issues central to Human-Animal Studies. Topics may vary and the course can be repeated with change in content.

Prerequisites: none

Diverse Cultures: Purple

This is a lecture course introducing students to major federal environmental laws and regulations. Discussions include the cause(s) that prompted the enactment of various environmental legislation as well as intent and implementation of the legislation. Both Federal and State of MN environmental statutes will be discussed.

Prerequisites: none

This is a lecture course that introduces students to sources and controls for pollutants in air, water, and soils including hazardous waste. Chemical and biological mechanisms that are important in nature and used to control/treat various types of pollutants are emphasized. Strongly recommended that this course be taken immediately after completing 1 year of Chemistry.

Prerequisites: 1 year CHEM

Introduces students to National Environmental Policy Act and requirements for Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessment Worksheets. Phase I Environmental Assessment of land and buildings, an international perspective on environmental assessments, and economic and social impact assessment are discusseed.

Prerequisites: ENVR 440

This class will explore why, how, and when physical and chemical phenomena occur during the preparation of food. Includes discussion and laboratory experience demonstrating how preparation methods affect food quality, composition, and nutritive value. Includes National Restaurant Association ServSafe Certification.

Prerequisites: FCS 150

This course examines the dynamic nature of soils including the processes that control formation and degradation, anthropogenic impacts, spatial distribution across landscapes, and links among soils and other components of the earth system. A combination of lectures and hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings are utilized to explore the complex interactions between soils and landscapes.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines basic concepts and components of soils, factors that influence formation and degradation, soil as a natural resource for ecosystems and societies, and the importance of soil conservation to restore functions that reduce erosion, improve water quality and quantity, mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, and increase agricultural productivity to feed an expanding population. Students will gain hands-on experience in field and laboratory settings to assess soil quality and quantity, investigate site-specific and landscape-scale impacts to soils, and develop management strategies to protect and improve soils in urban and agricultural systems.

Prerequisites: none

An in-depth investigation into fluvial systems including sediment transport, sediment budget analysis, channel geometry/morphology, drainage basin analysis, geomorphic evolution of fluvial landscapes, hydrology (i.e., runoff generation and channel formation, storm hydrograph and flood analysis, discharge measurements) of fluvial systems, and effects of anthropogenic modification and use of fluvial systems. Registration with completed prereqs or instructor consent.

Prerequisites: Either Geog 101 or Geol 121 and Geog 315 or 415 are recommended. Or instructor consent.

Survey of natural resources emphasizing energy, minerals, soils, fisheries, and water resources. Also addresses timber, wetlands, and wildlife on public and private lands.

Prerequisites: none

Introduction to theoretical frameworks for analyzing processes of economic, environmental, and social change in rural regions. Includes basic and advanced geographical principles and techniques for studying non-urban areas. Designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying out research projects on rural environments.

Prerequisites: none

Topics vary in physical, cultural, economic, political, and historical geography, as well as environmental conservation and geographic techniques.

Prerequisites: none

The application of geologic data and principles to problems created by human occupancy and use of the physical environment. Lecture and laboratory topics include soil classification and conservation, hazardous waste site evaluation and remediation, and living with geologic hazards.

Prerequisites: GEOL 100 GEOL 104 or GEOL 107 or GEOL 121

This course will examine the interaction between humans and the American environment from pre-Columbus to the present.

Prerequisites: none

Unrestricted Electives

Internship Capstone - Choose 3 Credit(s).