School of Agriculture

Director: Mark Zidon
Office: 219 Pioneer Tower
Phone: 608-342-1393
Roger L. Higgs
Kenneth Kilian
Michael O. Mee
Susan G. Price
Mark Zidon
Associate Professors:
Kevin Bernhardt
Michael Compton
Robert P. Nusbaum
Assistant Professors:
Richard Bockhop
Thomas Hunt
Annie Kinwa-Muzinga
Rami Reddy
John Tembei
Academic Staff:
Alicia Prill-Adams
Matthew Komiskey
Jodi McDermott
Cory Weigel
Phil Wyse


Agribusiness Major:
Commodity and Price Analysis Emphasis
Communications and Marketing Emphasis
Comprehensive Emphasis
Engineering Technology Emphasis
Management Emphasis
Agricultural Education Major:
Agribusiness (Non-Teaching) Emphasis
Comprehensive (Teaching) Emphasis
Animal Science Major:
Agribusiness Emphasis
Dairy Emphasis
Meat and Livestock Emphasis
Science Emphasis
Ornamental Horticulture Major:
Breeding and Genetics Emphasis
Business and Marketing Emphasis
Science and Technology Emphasis
Reclamation, Environment & Conservation Major:
Biological Emphasis
Chemistry Emphasis
Physical Emphasis
Soil and Crop Science Major:
Agribusiness Emphasis
Plant Breeding and Genetics Emphasis
Comprehensive Emphasis


Animal Science
Soil & Crop Science

Pre-professional Program Major:

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

About The Department and Major

The School of Agriculture (SOA) offers programs designed to enable graduates to assume responsible positions for the future production and distribution of food in the United States and in the world. The school is particularly proud of alumni achievements including agricultural leadership in Wisconsin, the United States and other countries.

The School has two major objectives:

  1. To provide students with general education in the biological, physical and social sciences and to introduce them to the arts and humanities
  2. To provide a relevant and challenging education that will enable students to enter and advance in the professional agricultural career of their choice

Students in the SOA may choose from six possible majors: agribusiness, agricultural education, animal science, ornamental horticulture, reclamation environment and conservation, and soil and crop science. A nonteaching agribusiness emphasis exists in agricultural education. An engineering technology emphasis in the agribusiness major provides an opportunity for students with career interests in that area. Available minors include agribusiness; animal science; biotechnology, horticulture; and soil and crop science. Students interested in veterinary medicine may enroll in the pre-veterinary program.


Classroom instruction within the field of agriculture requires experimentation, observation, and practical application of scientific information. Students majoring in agriculture use classroom laboratories and a 430-acre laboratory and demonstration farm for their course work. The farm also provides opportunities for applied research with a systems approach. All students have the opportunity to observe and apply approved management practices in animal science; feed processing and storage; farm power and machinery; and crops, soils and water conservation. In classroom laboratories students learn modern applications of biotechnology, computer technology, and engineering technology.

The university farm activities are centered on a systems approach. The university's farm livestock program includes dairy cattle, beef cattle, and swine. Experimental plots of Midwest cereal and forage crops, weed control and agronomic practices are planned and implemented by students as part of their course work. A global positioning system (precision farming) is used for field crops. An orchard, small fruit plantings, and flower beds serve as demonstration areas for classroom use. Agricultural field machinery and farmstead equipment are available for observation, test, and analysis.

A new 6000 square foot greenhouse surrounded by 25,000 square feet designated for gardens is located on campus to support classroom activities and laboratories for biology, horticulture, reclamation, environment and conservation, and soil and crop science. Students are involved in research projects involving resources in the greenhouse.

Internship Program

The internship program involves a supervised program of practices in such areas as plant and animal breeding; soil conservation; farm machinery and equipment; food processing and canning; farm supply and service; agricultural credit; agricultural engineering; marketing; business management; federal crop insurance; statistical reporting services; plant and animal nutrition; and farm management. The program provides SOA majors and potential employees an opportunity to become acquainted with a particular area through work experience. SOA students expressing interest in possible employment with an industry or agency may be selected to participate in this program.

Campus Organizations

Students enrolled in the SOA are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, art, drama, and a vast array of social events. In addition, 16 campus organizations serve the special interests of students majoring in agriculture.

The school has many successful judging teams that compete in national contests. The soil judging teams have won more national championships than any other university in the nation. Additional judging teams participate in dairy, meats, meat animal, crops, weeds, flower, and marketing competitions.

General Requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree


Mission of the Agribusiness Program

Wisconsinís agricultural industry of production, processing, distribution, retail and services generates $84 plus billion in annual state revenue per year, making it the largest industry in Wisconsin. Wisconsinís agricultural industry means jobs, 22 percent of the workforce relies directly on agriculture. The same story can be told in the surrounding regional states of Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. With job placement near 100 percent, the baccalaureate degree program in agribusiness is a direct feed into the number one industry of the state and region - Agriculture.

The agribusiness industry is unique in several ways including:

Mission Statement

The purpose and obligation of the Agribusiness program and faculty are to serve students, parents of students, employers and citizens by turning out students who excel in their preparedness and capacity to compete for desired careers in the agribusiness industry, and be successful at accomplishing both business and personal goals. This will be accomplished through the learning and application of business, economic and agricultural science theories, tools and processes; and through the development of the ďwholeĒ student via the universityís general education requirements.

The agribusiness programís curriculum structure includes core courses required to be taken by all students. In addition students must choose either a minor or one of the following Agribusiness Areas of Emphasis:

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will gain knowledge, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and/or evaluate, as appropriate, principles, tools and processes in the following overall areas:

  1. Agribusiness Management Principles
  2. Economic Principles and Concepts
  3. Financial Analysis and Record-Keeping
  4. Agricultural Science
  5. Mathematical and Quantitative Tools of Agribusines Management and Analysis
  6. Commodity and Identity-Based Marketing
  7. Oral and Written Communication Skills
  8. Professional and Personal Development
  9. Experiential - Crash Site - Learning
  10. Working understanding of the current status and trends in the local and global structure of the agriculture and food system.

Specific student learning outcomes for each of the overall areas is available upon request to the director of the program.

Agribusiness Major With Minor

Required core SOA courses (15 credits):

Required Agribusiness Courses: (32 credits):

AGINDUS 1500 Economic Organization of agriculture will count within the Agribusiness major. For students in Engineering Technology Emphasis, AGINDUS 1750 Equipment, Structure and Power Systems will count toward the Agribusiness major.

Electives (12 credits):

Electives can be any course chosen by the student and approved by the advisor.

Minor (24 credits):

Select a 24 credit university minor to complete the degree.

Agribusiness Comprehensive Major

Coursework includes completion of required core and an emphasis area.

Required core SOA courses (15 credits):

Required Agribusiness Courses (32 credits):

Commodity and Price Analysis Emphasis (34 credits)

Required (17 credits):

Select 3 credits from Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Engineering Technology, or Reclamation.

Electives (17 credits):

Select in consultation with advisor 17 cr

Management Emphasis (34 credits)

Required Courses: (19 credits):

Select 3 credits from Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Engineering Technology, or Reclamation.

Select one of the following (3 credits):

Electives (15 credits):

Select in consultation with advisor.

Communication and Marketing Emphasis (30 credits)

Required Courses (18 credits):

Select 3 credits from Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Engineering Technology, or Reclamation.

Electives (12 credits):

Select in consultation with advisor.

Engineering Technology Emphasis (30 credits)

Required Courses: (18 credits):

An additional 16 credits will be elected through consultation with an approval of the advisor.

Electives (12 credits):

Select in consultation with advisor.

Comprehensive Emphasis (33 credits)

A specialized 24 credit program of study (plus 9 elective credits) designed in consultation with and approval of the advisor.

Agricultural Education

Mission Statement

The mission of the Agricultural Education program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is to prepare students to become licensed to teach agricultural education primarily at the middle and secondary levels in Wisconsin public schools. In addition, the purpose of the Agribusiness option of Agricultural Education is to provide a broad-based background of agriculture that will enable the graduate to teach in industry, continue on to a masterís degree, to work in the Cooperative Extension Service or work in other areas of agriculture.

Agricultural Education - Comprehensive (Teaching) Option

Students who major in agricultural education in the SOA, upon admission to teacher education, are jointly enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Education and must fulfill the requirements for teacher education specified by that college. The agricultural education curriculum meets the requirements of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the certification of agriculture/agribusiness instructors at the junior/senior high school level. The program also meets the educational requirements for the provisional certificate issued by the Wisconsin State Board of Vocational, Technical, and Adult Education for teachers of agriculture at the post-secondary level.

Agricultural Education Major

Required: Core SOA Courses (15 credits):

One of these five courses will count within the Agricultural Education major. The decision will be at the discretion of the academic advisor.

Required: Agriculture Courses (40 credits):

Agricultural Education: (5 credits)
Required: Crops/Soils/Horticulture: (7 credits)
Required: Ag Business: (9 credits)
Required: Animal Science: (10 credits)
Required: Engineering Technology: (9 credits)

Required Education Courses (38-39 credits):

The comprehensive agricultural education major provides a balance of course work from among the four technical subject matter areas in agriculture. The major in agricultural education may be complemented with a minor or an emphasis in horticulture or agribusiness management.

Those interested in qualifying for teaching certification in a second field may complete a major in that field as well as in agricultural education. The School of Education requirements need not be duplicated for the two majors.

Graduates who qualify for certification to teach agriculture at the junior/senior high school level must have at least 2,000 hours of occupational experience in agriculture. Students not having such experience may meet this requirement through summer employment or by enrolling in AGINDUS 4580 Agricultural Business Internship. The occupational experience required of post-secondary teachers is 12 months for the provisional certificate.

Requirements for Admission to Teacher Education

  1. 30 semester credits in an accredited college of which 15 semester credits have been earned at UW- Platteville.
  2. Grades of "C" or better in freshman English 1130, 1230, and Speech 1010 or 2010.
  3. Cumulative GPA of 2.50 or better (2.75 for elementary education majors).
  4. A recommendation for teacher education by an advisor.
  5. Satisfactory completion of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST).

Requirements for Admission to Student Teaching

During the junior year, each teacher education student must file an application for admission to student teaching with the director of clinical experiences. To be eligible, students must (a) have been admitted to the Teacher Education Program, (b) have GPAs of 2.75 (3.00 for elementary education majors) or better in all professional education courses and in each major and minor field, (c) be recommended by the faculty of the major and minor departments, and (d) fulfill all prerequisites. During the professional semester, students are assigned to student teaching or to an internship.

Agricultual Education - Agribusiness (Non-Teaching)

The Agribusiness Option of Agricultural Education is not intended to provide teacher certification for teaching in public schools. It is rather an option to prepare graduates for (a) teaching or working in the agricultural industry, (b) working in the Cooperative Extension Service, or (c) continuing to complete a Master of Science in Education. A Master's degree would be necessary to become employed in the Cooperative Extension Service. The Master of Science in Education would meet the requirements for obtaining a license to teach agriculture at the secondary level.

Requirements for this option are similar to those of the teaching option except that fewer education classes are taken and the student is not required to student teach. In addition, the students are not required to be admitted to the Teacher Education program. As such, they do not need to meet the GPA or PPST requirements listed for the teaching option.

Agribusiness Option Comprehensive

Required: Core SOA Courses (15 credits):
Required: Agricultural Education: (7 credits)
Required: Crops/Soils/Horticulture: (14 credits)
Required: Animal Science: (14 credits)
Required: Agribusiness: (14 credits)
Required: Agribusiness Engineering Technology: (14 credits)

Agribusiness Option With Minor

Required: Core SOA (15 credits):
Required: Agricultural Education: (7 credits)
Required: Crops/Soils/Horticulture: (9 credits)
Required: Animal Science: (11 credits)
Required: Agribusiness: (9 credits)
Required: Agribusiness Engineering Technology: (9 credits)

Agriculture courses must total 36 credits and a university minor of 24 credits must also be completed.

Animal Science

Mission Statement

The Animal Science major will prepare graduates who value and use critical thinking, communication and social skills through liberal arts and science based technology education. They will contribute to the success and profitability of vocations involved in animal care, welfare and production of high quality animal derived food and medicine for national and international consumption. Graduates will also acquire skills that will guide them in designing and applying a synergy of animal production and land use with lasting environmental stability.


Graduates of the Animal Science program will be:

  1. Conscious of and sensitive to the issues involved with profitable and ethical management, care, welfare and health of animals.


  2. Critical thinkers with effective oral and written communication skills as individuals and as team members


  3. Able to determine and measure profitable and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices


  4. Informed and aware of regional, national and international obligations, opportunities and experiences


Animal Science offers two options, a major with a University Minor or a comprehensive major with emphases. AGSC 1000 will count as an elective in the Animal Science Major.

Animal Science Major

Required: Core SOA Courses (15 credits):


Select at least two (7-8 credits):

Select at least one (3 credits):



Students must choose a 24 credit minor.

Animal Science Comprehensive Major (60 Credits)

Required: Core SOA Courses (15 credits):

Required: Animal Science (16 credits):

Agribusiness Emphasis

Select at least two (7-8 credits):

Select at least one (3 credits):

Select at least three (7-10 credits):

Required Courses (12 credits):

Electives (11-13 credits):

Dairy Emphasis

Select at least one (3-4 credits):

Required Courses (19 credits):

Electives (21-22 credits):

Meat and Livestock Emphasis

Select at least two (7-8 credits):

Required (6 credits):

Select at least one (3 credits):

Electives (25-26 credits):

Science Emphasis

Select two (7-8 credits):

Select one (3 credits):

Select at least two (6 or more credits):

Required (16 credits):

Electives (11-13 credits):

Ornamental Horticulture

Ornamental horticulture is the art and science involved in growing and arranging plants for their aesthetic value. It is a division of horticulture involved in the production and sales of greenhouse, florist and nursery plants as well as the design and management of landscapes and interior spaces for public and private use.

The mission of the ornamental horticulture program is to prepare students for careers as responsible, ethical and competent horticulturists. This is achieved by combining a solid liberal arts education with professional curricular and educational opportunities aimed at combining the important theoretical and practical aspects of the horticultural and biological sciences with the managerial skills necessary for preparing students for a successful career in ornamental horticulture. Specific goals and objectives for the ornamental horticulture program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville are to provide curricular and educational opportunities which result in graduates who:

Ornamental horticulture is a 36-credit major. Students must also choose a 24-credit emphasis offered through the ornamental horticulture major or 24-credit minor. Emphasis areas associated directly with the ornamental horticulture major include business and marketing, breeding and genetics, and science and technology.

Experiential learning is an important part of the ornamental horticulture program. For this reason, students are required to complete a three-credit internship or faculty-advised independent study project. Internships are available all year throughout the United States. Independent study projects may be in an area of ornamental horticulture or plant biotechnology. Both internships and independent study projects provide students excellent practical experience while earning college credits.

Students that complete the program qualify for jobs in landscape horticulture, turf management, nursery and garden center operations, bedding plant production, greenhouse management, retail floral shops, seed production, or education and research. High school students should prepare for the ornamental horticulture major by completing courses in math, science and ornamental horticulture. Two or more years of Spanish is highly recommended. Summer jobs with a greenhouse, nursery or landscaping firm are beneficial.

Ornamental Horticulture Major (36 Credits)

Required (26 credits):

Electives (10 credits):

** Counts as an elective if not used to fulfill requirement for ornamental horticulture major.

Areas of Emphasis

Business and Marketing Emphasis

Required (6 credits):

Electives (13-16 credits):

** Counts as an elective if not used to fulfill requirement for ornamental horticulture major.

Business and Marketing Electives (12-15 credits):

Science and Technology Emphasis

Required (4 credits):

Science and Technology Electives (34 credits):

**Counts as an elective if not used to fulfill requirements for ornamental horticulture major.

Breeding and Genetics Emphasis

Required (20 credits):

Breeding and Genetics Electives: (19 credits):

** Counts as an elective if not used to fulfill requirements for ornamental horticulture major.

Reclamation, Environment, and Conservation

Reclamation, Environment and Conservation (REC), an applied environmental science, is the restoration of the health of land and water by the practical application of science, technology, and management. Its basis lies in both ethics and sound management of the planet. REC is a natural adjunct to land use activities such as mining, construction, and agriculture. The program at UW-Platteville was designed with input from industry, government, and academic researchers. The UW-Platteville REC major was the first four-year college program of its kind in the United States. Essential to this program is training in the fields of civil engineering, soil science, biology, geology, ecology, environmental law, and chemistry. There are very few universities with accredited programs in all of these required fields.

The courses in the REC program are established and coordinated by the director and a council comprised of major faculty active in REC. In addition to the courses provided by the supporting departments, specific courses in reclamation focus on integrating the knowledge and skills acquired toward reclamation applications. Within the REC major, a student may elect to focus upon either a physical emphasis, a biological emphasis, or a chemistry emphasis. This division arises from the general division of emphases at the professional level. The physical emphasis is closely allied with geology, civil engineering, and soils, whereas the biological emphasis is closely allied with ecology, soils, and agricultural sciences. It is possible to obtain a double major in one of the closely related fields while completing requirements for the REC major. Students who elect a major in REC should have an aptitude for science and technical courses and a strong commitment to the environmental profession.

Reclamation, Environment and Conservation Major

Required (52-68 credits):

Areas of Emphasis

Physical Emphasis

Required (10-11 credits):

Chemistry Emphasis

Required (10 credits):

Biology Emphasis

Required (15 credits):

Soil and Crop Science

The soil and crop science major completes a set of required courses along with either a 24-credit emphasis or a University Minor. The major requirements include crop, weed, and pest identification; soil fertility; crop physiology; horticulture; grain, seed, and breeding techniques; fertilizers; one biological science course; one physical science course; and three or four elective courses. Prerequisites include crop production, soils, introductory chemistry, and general UW-Platteville requirements.

Soil and Crop Science Major

Required SOA Courses (15 credits):

Required: (15-16 credits)

Select one course (3-5 credits):

Electives (15-17 credits):

A 24-credit emphasis or minor must be selected.

Agribusiness Emphasis

Required (6 credits):

Electives: Computer Science (3 credits)

Electives: Psychology & Communication (3 credits):

Electives: Business & Accounting (6 credits):

Electives: Agribusiness (6 credits):

Plant Breeding and Genetics Emphasis

Required (11 credits):

Electives: Biology/Chemistry, Comp Science (3-14 credits):

Electives (0-10 credits):

Comprehensive Soil and Crop Science Emphasis

24 credits, consisting of any agriculture courses available, 12 of which must be above 3000 level. Program Director's approval required for courses outside the School of Agriculture.


Agribusiness Minor (24 credits)

The remaining credits are selected from agribusiness classes.

Animal Science Minor (24 credits)

Required (8 credits):

Select at least one (3-4 credits):

Select at least one (3 credits):

Electives to complete the minor

Horticulture Minor (24 credits)

Required: Horticulture Area (9 credits):

Select one: Plant Identification (3-4 credits):

Select one: Biology Sciences (4 credit):

Electives: (7-8 credits)

*Cannot be used as an elective if used to fulfill a college or major requirement.

** Cannot be used as an elective if used to fulfill the plant identification or biological sciences requirement.

*** Course offered on demand.

Soil and Crop Science Minor (24 credits)

Required: (16 credits):

Required: Biology/Physical Sciences (select one):

The remaining credits (electives) are to be selected from soil and crop science courses or approved supporting courses in related areas such as biology, physical science, or mathematics.

Biotechnology Minor (24 credits)

Required (12 credits):

Required: Tissue Culture Area (select one or both):

Required: Physiology Co-requisite (credits do not count toward completion of the minor):

Electives: (7-10 credits):