Agricultural Sciences - Riverland

Agricultural Sciences

Agriculture is one of Minnesota’s most important industries and provides a variety of related career opportunities. Close to 2 million family farms dot the landscape across rural America. Total agricultural production for many crops has risen exponentially over time and while incorporating careful stewardship of resources, soil erosion has steadily declined during this same time frame. Statistics indicate that over 22 million Americans are employed in the agricultural industry, equating to 11 percent of total employment. Each year, 57,900 new jobs are created in agriculture, but employers face a 39% deficit in job placement. An education in agriculture will allow you to meet this tremendous opportunity and feed, fuel, and cloth the world.


This program allows students to complete an Associates of Sciences degree in Agricultural Sciences that is worth 60 credits. The A.S. degree in Agricultural Sciences is the preferred degree for transferring to a four-year university. This degree provides a comprehensive and well-rounded scientific education. Students will take 40 credits of general education requirements and 20 credits of required core courses in the Agricultural Sciences program. Riverland Community College’s Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology and the A.S. degree in Agricultural Sciences is a great choice for students who interested in making a difference in the field of agriculture.

NOTE: See a Riverland counselor for information on prerequisite and transfer of courses.

NOTE:  This certificate program is part of the Associate in Science Agricultural Sciences Degree.

    What will I study?

In addition to biology, chemistry, mathematics, composition courses (amongst others) that fall under the general education requirements, students will learn agronomic, agribusiness, precision agricultural, entomology, weed science, plant pathology, soil science, fertility management, natural resource conservation. The A.S. degree is a very hands-on education, allowing you to first-hand apply what you learn in the classroom.

This Program Is Right For You If You:

  • Enjoy nature, science, agriculture, biology and working in a rewarding industry
  • Like trying new technologies and developing new approaches to solving problems
  • Like working with different people in a fast-paced environment
  • Are involved with 4-H, FFA, STEM, or other agricultural-themed activities and projects
  • Developing and researching new ways for Minnesota’s farmers to enhance sustainable agriculture
Riverland Community College Agricultural Instructor Nick Schiltz shares with students how a corn dryer operates, its function, and how important it is ensure it is a ready to work state


    Responsibilities Include:

Apply technical and scientific findings to feed and fuel a growing population while conserving natural resources

  • Increase crop production for Minnesota’s farmers
  • Scout and diagnosis common pests in agricultural farmland
  • Design new hybrids/varieties for widespread research and commercial usage
  • Oversee farm plans and analyze balance sheets and income statements
  • Provide medical support and care to injured livestock
  • Work in economics to create profitable enterprises, tax-preparation documents, and succession plans for various family farms
  • Implement best management practices for Minnesota’s growing agriculture base
  • Engineer, design, and troubleshoot power machinery and structural equipment
  • Teach and inspire the next generation of agricultural leaders


    Wages / Career Opportunities / Internships:

Agricultural Science students are highly encouraged to complete 1-2 internships during their degree completion AND they can receive college credit! Internships are ways for students to expand on what they have learned in the classroom, receive work experience, earn a wonderful wage, and can potentially lead to full-time employment after degree completion. These experiences are typically completed during the summer season, but can also be completed during the fall and spring seasons. We have successfully placed students at many local agricultural companies. Students are encouraged to explore open careers and internships on the Riverland Agricultural and Food Science Technology website at under the ‘Careers/Internships’ page. Students may also find their own internships as well. Potential options include:

  • Crop Scout Intern
  • Field Plot Intern
  • Lab Technician
  • Ag Sales Intern
  • Ag/Food Science Intern
  • DNR/Conservation Intern


Agricultural Science majors can expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 upon graduation. Salaries increase with experience and education and can earn anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000. Agricultural Science interns can expect to make $12-17/hour.


    Notable Employers
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland   
  • Bayer Crop Sciences           
  • Central Harvest States (CHS)       
  • Hormel Foods               
  • Seed, Chemical, Fertilizers Dealers   
  • Equipment Dealers       
  • Conservation Districts           
  • Livestock Enterprises

Notable Career Opportunities

  • Crop Scout
  • Crop Applicator
  • Agricultural Service Technician
  • Agronomist
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Environmental Technician
  • Precision Agricultural Specialist



What facilities and resources will I be able to access?

Riverland’s Center for Agricultural and Food Science Technology is located inside of the Austin West campus at Riverland Community College in Austin, MN. The Center is a collaborative space open to students to study, meet faculty and learn about Agriculture and Food Science Technology. It is home to a state-of-the-art John Deere Combine Simulator and Robotic Seed Bed.


The Ag Center is situated between two land-grant universities with close proximity to on-campus student housing and reliable transportation options. The Ag Center is also located close to the Hormel Foods Corporation, The Hormel Institute, and a number of regionally and globally-recognized agricultural companies seeking graduates to fill their employment needs. Riverland Community College maintains a cooperative research farm near Lansing, MN, with a number of local agricultural cooperators named Sustainable Answer Acre where courses are implemented into the research plots. The Ag industry surrounds all Riverland campuses for many miles and serves as the heart of the state’s economy, affording students an ideal opportunity to begin their career in agriculture and food science technology.

Provided as a generous donation from The Hormel Foundation, the state-of-the-art John Deere Combine Simulator provides hands-on and demonstrative education for Riverland’s Agricultural Science majors.

Situated at the Riverland Community College Austin West campus, the Center for Agriculture and Food Science Technology provides a gateway into agricultural education for postsecondary students.



Can I participate in any clubs, organizations or extracurricular activities?

There are many ways Agricultural students can get involved on campus:

Riverland’s Agricultural and Food Science Technology Club is the only club in the state combining Collegiate FFA with Post-Secondary Opportunities in Agriculture (PAS). Members of the club participate in service projects and leadership opportunities. To learn more about the Riverland Ag Club, please visit

  • Honors College
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Riverland Student Senate  


    Program Scholarships

The college offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.


Guaranteed Transfer Agreement

Students who enroll at Riverland Community College and major in Agricultural Sciences will find seamless and easy opportunities to transfer to a four-year university or college of their choice. Riverland Community College has partnered with many local agricultural institutions and their programs to allow you to transfer right in – with ease!

Universities where students will find easy transfer options are:

Programs that our students transfer into (all Bachelor's degrees):

  • Agronomy / Crop and Soil Science
  • Agricultural Business or Agribusiness
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Agricultural Education
  • Agricultural or Civil Engineering
  • Nature Resources


Related Programs

Last Updated: February 5, 2018

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