Agriculture Courses Offered at AHC

Introduction to Animal Science (AG 152)

Take a scientific approach to the California livestock industry encompassing animal anatomy, physiology, behavior, nutrition, and genetics. This course emphasizes the origins, characteristics, adaptations, and contributions of livestock to the modern agricultural industry. It is a good introductory course to the broad world of applied animal science. Students interested in pursuing veterinary school can be exposed to veterinary science in this course, and may choose to transfer to a UC or CSU that has a veterinary science program. 

Careers in animal science:

  • Agricultural and Food Scientist
  • Agricultural Educator
  • Animal Behaviorist
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Cooperative Extension Agent
  • Dairy Nutritionist
  • Dairy, Pig, and Poultry Farmer
  • Farm Advisor
  • Rancher
  • Sales and Marketing Specialist
  • USDA Inspector
  • Veterinarian 

Introduction to Fruit Science (AG 154)

Learn the botany, taxonomy, and development of the major fruit, vine, and nut crops in California including variety selection, site selection, and orchard management. This course gives a general overview of all aspects of fruit science from the fertilization, pollination, and irrigation of the crop to harvest and post-harvest practices, storage, processing, and marketing of the finished product. Local field trips as well as access to the vineyard and community garden on campus will enhance the theories learned in the classroom with practical applications. 

Careers in fruit science:

Government agencies constantly seek research biologists and technicians. Some of the California state agencies that regularly hire plant biologists include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Departments of Conservation, Fish & Game, and the California Coastal Commission.

  • Agronomist
  • Crop Ecologist
  • Crop Protection Specialist
  • Extension Farm Advisor
  • Food Safety Inspector
  • Fruit Scientist
  • Nutritionist
  • Orchard/Vineyard Manager
  • Plant Biologist
  • Post-Harvest Technology Specialist
  • Produce Sales and Marketing
  • Production Supervisor 

Introduction to Mechanized Agriculture (AG 155)

Gain basic mechanical skills in woodworking, cold metal, concrete, and project construction as related to farm maintenance and repair. Develop hand and power tool skills, become familiar with compact power equipment, and understand hydraulic technology with an emphasis on safety practices. 

Careers in mechanized agriculture:

It is nearly impossible to imagine farming without the ease of modern technology and equipment. Machines are used in every aspect of agriculture from preparing the ground, to planting and pruning, to harvesting and processing the final crop. The field of mechanized agriculture has a demand for skilled farm equipment operators.

  • Agriculture Equipment Technician
  • Compact Power Equipment Technician
  • Diesel Equipment Technician
  • Equipment Sales and Repair
  • Farm and Power Equipment Technician
  • Heavy Equipment Technician
  • Hydraulic Technician 

Introduction to Agribusiness (AG 150)

Introduces the student to the economic aspects of agriculture and their implications to the agricultural producer, consumer, and the food system as a whole, emphasizing management principles encountered in the day-to-day operations of an agricultural enterprise. Field trips to local agriculture businesses expose the students to the broad range of career opportunities within this growing and fulfilling field. 

Careers in agribusiness:

Agriculture is and will continue to be a major global industry. As the population rises, the career opportunities in the farming-related sector will continue to increase to meet the growing demands.

  • Agricultural Banking and Insurance Agent
  • Agricultural Firm Recruiter
  • Farm Manager
  • Food Merchandiser
  • Land Appraiser
  • Livestock Buyer
  • Project Manager
  • Ranch Marketing Specialist
  • Sales Representative
  • Sales and Operations Manager 

Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture (AG 153)

Get introduced to the history, concepts, and practices of sustainable agricultural systems by focusing on local case studies to connect responsible social and environmental principles to current California farming standards and practices. Students address various aspects of developing more environmentally, socially, and economically viable agricultural systems through careful analysis, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving. 

Careers in sustainable agriculture:

 Students gain practical knowledge about ecology, biodiversity, environmental policy, conservation, and social institutions and develop the skills necessary to meet the challenge of integrating these concepts into a sustainable farming system.

  • Agriculture Policy Maker
  • Agricultural Production Manager
  • Agroecologist
  • Environmental Consultant/Lawyer
  • Food Systems Manager
  • Organic Farmer
  • Rural and Urban Community Manager
  • Sustainable Landscape Developer 

Introduction to Environmental Horticulture (AG 156)

Covers general horticultural practices emphasizing nursery and greenhouse operations, landscape design, installation and maintenance, turf management, and floral design. Students concentrate on the ornamental use of plant materials to improve urban and rural sites such as public and private landscapes, recreational areas, and interiorscapes. This course provides students with a comprehensive survey of current career opportunities in this growing industry with special emphasis on local opportunities. 

Careers in the environmental plant sciences:

  • Arborist
  • Botanical Garden Director          
  • Floral Designer and Event Planner
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Greenhouse and Nursery Operations Manager
  • Interior Plant Designer
  • Landscape Architect and Designer
  • Landscape Installation and Maintenance Manager
  • Native Plant Systems Specialist
  • Sports Field Turf Manager
  • Urban Forester and Regional Planner 

Agricultural Sales, Communication, and Leadership (AG 157)

 Cover the study and application of the selling process that links together farming, food systems, social implications, and the environment. Gain a background in the basic strategies and philosophy of sales, agricultural communication, customer service, and agricultural education. Students will develop and apply skills such as self-management, leadership qualities, and managerial abilities gained through role-play, teamwork, critical thinking, and local job shadowing.

Careers in agricultural sales and communication:

Many students interested in the communication and leadership aspect of this course arrange to continue their college career in the vein of agricultural education. This includes working with school-age children and teaching them the basics of agriculture through school garden programs, Future Farmers of America, and other agricultural programs. Agricultural education is not limited to the youth or formal teaching situations, as students have access to the informal venue of the community garden to interact and teach community members the basics of gardening, including crop selection, irrigation, and harvest practices.

  • Agricultural and Environmental Educator
  • Agricultural Chemical Sales
  • Agricultural Inspector
  • Arboretum and Public Garden Director
  • Domestic and International Agribusiness
  • Food Broker
  • Nursery Management and Sales
  • Outdoor Programs Director
  • Science Writer         

Soils and Plant Nutrition (AG 125)

This course is a study of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the native soils on the Central Coast including general plant nutrition and the factors that affect nutrient availability. It also covers the range of fertilizer materials and soil amendments and their application and use in nursery, vineyard, and garden settings. Students have access to modern soil testing equipment and technologies. 

Careers in soil science:

California regulations are tightening on chemical, fertilizer, and other soil amendments, which means that professionals in the field of soil and plant nutrition require extra training and will need to be certified by the state of California prior to making soil amendment recommendations or applications. Students interested in soil and plant nutrition for California crops should consider continuing on this track at a four-year university to prepare to take the test to become a California Certified Crop Advisor. There are also opportunities to work with regulation development for state and federal agencies such as the United States Geological Service’s Biological Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service. Other opportunities in this field include:

  • Certified Crop Advisor
  • Fertilizer Specialist
  • Land Management Specialist
  • Resource Conservationist
  • Site Restoration
  • Soil and Water Conservationist
  • Soil Biologist
  • Soil Fertility Specialist 

Integrated Pest Management (AG 130)

Study the various diseases as well as insect, vertebrate, and weed pests found in wine grape vineyards on the Central Coast. The course emphasizes pest identification, sampling, and monitoring techniques, and data collection technology. Students will gain perspective on all popular pest management philosophies including conventional, organic, sustainable, biological, and integrated control methods and practices. Student access to and participation with the on-campus vineyard, community garden, and greenhouse space is integral to the application of classroom theories. 

Careers in pest management:

With Introduction to Integrated Pest Management, students are exposed not only to the biology and physiology of different plant pests, but also to the application of chemical and biological materials to control various orchard and vineyard pest problems. From here, students with interest in pest management can continue to take courses at a four-year university in the areas of entomology, plant pathology, and weed science in order to be on track to become a California Pest Control Advisor. Other employment opportunities in the area of pest management: 

  • Agricultural Biological and Chemical Sales
  • Agricultural Inspector
  • Agronomist
  • Certified Crop Advisor
  • Crop Protection Specialist
  • Extension Farm Advisor
  • Orchard and Vineyard Manager
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Pest Control Advisor
  • Qualified Chemical Applicator
  • Weed Specialist 

Vineyard Irrigation (AG 307)

Receive a general background in vineyard irrigation water management, including vineyard water stress monitoring, crop coefficients, and drip irrigation. Students will learn about water conservation and ways to make more efficient use of this resource specifically in orchards and vineyards. Classes take place at the Allan Hancock College student-maintained vineyard and community garden. 

Careers in irrigation:

  • Drip Irrigation Designer
  • Irrigation Sales and Technical Support
  • Irrigation Technician
  • Orchard and Vineyard Irrigation Specialist
  • Resource Conservationist
  • Water Conservationist
  • Water Quality Inspector

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Mitchell Simpson

Mitchell Simpson
Agribusiness Student

"It's so hands on. Everyone is really involved, you're learning from all the local winemakers that are really in it."
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Last Modified Nov 21, 2014