Agricultural and Food Sciences

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Welcome To The Agricultural and Food Sciences Programs!

Agriculture is the backbone of America’s economy and food base. Combining the arts of science with practicality, agriculture includes the many components of cultivating the soil, growing and livestock, and providing products that feed, fuel, and cloth the world. In Minnesota, agricultural production provides close to $57.5 billion in revenue while supporting 147,000 jobs. In terms of scale, Minnesota ranks 5th in the nation in agricultural production and eight in livestock production.

As a Riverland Community College Agricultural Sciences student, you will learn how to feed the world. Our programs fully integrate the concepts of crops, animals, weeds, precision agriculture, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and plant breeding and genetics.

 Ag Collage Images


Is This Program Right For You?

This would be a great program if you:

  • Like learning more about agriculture, science, and natural resources
  • Have a desire for exploring conservation and sustainable agriculture
  • Want to use computers and precision farming technological tools
  • Enjoy working with numbers, financials, and record-keeping
  • Are interested in producing new nutritious foods in a safe manner
  • Are currently involved in 4-H, FFA, or another agricultural activity
  • Download Brochure (PDF)

The many degrees and certificates offered at Riverland Community College will allow you to begin your career in this exciting field, forge unique relationships with our many industry partners, and allow you to easily transfer to a four-year institution of your choice or enter the growing demand for qualified agricultural leaders!

Facilities

Riverland Community College is home to the Center for Agriculture and Food Science Technology space, the Agricultural Science classroom, and a state-of-the-art research collaboration farm “Sustainable Answer Acre” near Lansing, Minnesota.

Career Opportunities

Whether your preference is working in an office, tractor, laboratory, and in a rapidly expanding environment, you are sure to find a career of your dreams in agriculture! Many students and graduates of our programs pursue careers in the following fields:

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Animal Science
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Natural Resources
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agricultural Systems Technology

For careers, our Agricultural Science students and majors receive jobs as an:

  • Crop Applicator
  • Grain Merchandiser
  • Swine/Cattle Farm Manager
  • Agricultural Service Technician
  • Crop/plant/animal/machine research
  • Fertilizer, seed, chemical, and equipment sales

The Agricultural and Food Science faculty includes:
Wayne Busch

Wayne Busch
Biology & Animal Science Instructor

Willy Mekeel

Willy Mekeel
Geography, Physics, Agriculture Instructor
Willy Mekeel holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation and Master's of Science Degrees in Geography and GIS from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota is focused on remote sensing applications in wildlife biology. Specifically, he is answering questions related to the applicability of object-based image analysis workflows in tracking moose and deer populations in Northern Minnesota. - Read more about Willy Mekeel

Nick Schiltz

Nick Schiltz
Ag Instructor
I have been privileged to work as a teacher and educator in a multitude of roles and am excited to teach an area near and dear to my heart: agriculture. Growing up on a local family farm, I learned the 'why's' and 'how's' of what made agriculture so dynamic. Today, I work as a faculty instructor within the Center for Agriculture and Food Science Technology at Riverland Community College, very close to where I grew up. I am passionate about working with students and seeing them have success. Our hope is that students will embrace the concept of being lifelong learners, never forgetting that life is a journey and there is an exciting world to learn more about.