About the Program
Wallace State's Agricultural Production and Sustainable Agriculture programs are designed to prepare students for various jobs in local agriculture, business, and industry.
Students may find jobs in areas such as landscaping, forestry, aquaculture operations, conservation, and farming. Other potential opportunities include managing or owning a farm, greenhouse, or nursery. Work in this field is largely seasonal with spring and summer being the busiest times of the year. Agriculture and forestry attract people who enjoy working outdoors and living an independent lifestyle. For many, the wide-open physical expanse and the variability of day-to-day work provide benefits that offset the sometimes hard labor and the risks associated with unseasonable or extreme weather.
Agricultural managers manage the day-to-day activities of one or more farms, ranches, nurseries, timber tracts, greenhouses, and other agricultural establishments. These managers usually determine the best time to plant seeds, apply fertilizer and chemicals, and harvest and market the crops.
Sustainable agriculture allows individuals to grow fruits and vegetables organically, using high tunnel greenhouses to cultivate produce year-round. For instance, instead of planting one garden a year, the high tunnel greenhouses can yield three gardens a year. In addition to high tunnel greenhouses, a hydroponics greenhouse and a fruit orchard have been added to the campus. The hydroponics greenhouse allows plants to grow in a nutrient solution instead of from the soil.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, jobs for landscaping and groundskeeping workers are expected to increase by 12.4% through 2022 due to an increased demand for landscaping services. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics) According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the total and direct employment impact in food and related products is approximately 146,000 jobs statewide. Among these jobs, Cullman County, where Wallace State is located, ranks first in poultry and egg production and second in vegetable and melon farming. One of every 4.6 jobs in Alabama is related to agriculture, forestry, or a related industry.