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Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Major

Bachelor of Science
Agricultural & Food Systems (AFS)

Gain knowledge and experience to become a professional in organic and sustainable crop production.

WSU Everett is a transfer institution providing upper division courses to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. You can fulfill the majority of WSU’s general education (UCORE) and the pre-program acceptance requirements at any college (2 year or 4 years), then complete your Organic and Sustainable Agriculture degree at WSU Everett.

WSU Course Requirements

Young woman crouches to plant a seedling through black plastic sheeting

Organic and sustainable crop production integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Becoming a professional in organic and sustainable agriculture requires an understanding of plant and soil sciences, pest/disease management, marketing, and food science. Sales of organic foods in the U.S. have shown double-digit growth during most years since the 1990s, with Washington State being second in the nation in organic sales. Retail sales of organic food were highest in the U.S. with 42% of the global market, followed by Europe and China. The rapid growth of the organic sector has created a need to provide education and research, as well as services and product development for organic farmers and the food industry.

Students in the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture major take a diversity of fundamental courses in the natural, environmental, soil, social, and economic sciences, as well as courses focused on organic production practices.

Graduates from the AFS Major Will be Prepared for Careers in:

  • Crop Consulting
  • Pest Management
  • Soil Management
  • Organic Certification
  • Food Science
  • Economics and Marketing
  • Crop Production
  • Ag-environmental Stewardship
  • Organic Product Purchaser

Taught by faculty at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC

SOIL_SCI 201

Dr. Gabe LaHue

Soil: A Living System

Dr. Gabe LaHue (gabriel.lahue@wsu.edu) teaches the introductory SOIL SCI 201 (Soil: A Living System). This 3-credit course is structured around the “five pillars” of soil science, which include soil genesis, morphology, and classification; soil physics; soil chemistry; soil biology; and soil fertility, with the final unit focusing on past, current, and future challenges and opportunities in soil science.

HORT 310

Dr. Lisa DeVetter

Pomology

Dr. Lisa DeVetter (lisa.devetter@wsu.edu) leads instruction of pomology (HORT 310). This 3-credit course provides an overview of the botany, history, production, and uses of temperate-zone tree and small fruit crops.

AFS 410

Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue

Capstone

Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue (d.griffin@wsu.edu) teaches AFS 401, the culminating capstone course for the AFS Organic and Sustainable Agriculture degree, designed to integrate and apply all of the skills students acquired in previous coursework, to analyze current challenges and opportunities in agriculture.