Be a thinker for progress

a person holding a clump of verdant grass and soil
students conducting field work on farm
old fashioned tractor
students studying
empty apple crates in fall, post harvest
farm students sitting in pick up truck with bins of produce
classroom teaching
group of sunflowers and zinnias in a field
students smiling

With a global population of 7.7 billion and growing, how will we feed everyone? 

Farming and agriculture for the 21st century will need to pivot from long accepted methodologies to a more sustainable use of our resources. As an Ecological Agriculture major, you will gain a solid foundation in the natural sciences with hands on experience during farm practicums, field trips and internships. Help grow the future with science based, community oriented knowledge. 

 

Why choose Ecological Agriculture?

Conversion of the worlds natural landscapes for food production is draining irreplaceable resources. Modern agriculture seeks to integrate science based practices to protect our land and water. Take a deep dive into environmental science, agroecology and community to help find where we can come together for change. 

Upon completion of the Ecological Agriculture B.S. degree, students will:

  • Be able to apply ecological principles to the production and management of horticultural and agronomic crops and have an understanding of plant/soil managed for food, feed, or fiber production.
  • Gain the ability to critically examine and understand the human dimensions of agriculture and food systems, including social, ethical, political and economic dimensions.
  • Have skills to effectively communicate findings and interpretations of agricultural and landscape datasets orally in a clear and concise manner.
  • Have skills to demonstrate a quantitative and qualitative science perspective applying critical thinking and problem solving skills to a given problem or issue.

Major requirements

Beyond the classroom

students in research labOur faculty work closely with the agricultural community not only in Vermont, but nationally and internationally. Faculty are both professors and professional researchers, providing rich opportunities for students to engage in research and internships beyond the classroom. UVM students have the opportunity to work in faculty labs, in the field on our research farms and in the community while earning credits, skills and making meaningful connections. Read more about our undergraduate student research experiences.

 

Bringing sustainability to traditional agriculture

Growing a Sustainable Future

Plant and Soil Science was one of the first programs in the nation to integrate ecological practices into traditional agriculture. 

Graduate employment rate

91%

of CALS graduates were employed full-time or continuing their education within 6 months of graduating from UVM

Careers

  • Conservationist, Land and Water
  • Environmental Technician, Soil and Water
  • Urban Landscape Designer
  • Educator, Extension Outreach Professional
  • Greenhouse Operations Coordinator
  • Brewery Owner, Hops Specialist
  • Winemaker, Wine Cellar Management

Where alumni work

  • Land Trust Alliance Commission, Saratoga Springs NY
  • Mother Earth Organics, Portland OR
  • The Trust for Public Land, San Francisco CA
  • EcoGardens Landscaping, LLC Philadelphia PA
  • Ernest & Julio Gallo Wines, CA
  • Parks and Recreation Department, Burlington VT
  • Longwood Gardens, Phildelphia PA
  • Self-employed business owners, breweries, wineries, and mead

Graduate Schools

  • Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry, NY
  • University of New Hampshire, Department of Plant Biology
  • Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture