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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 year), 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

Dr. Gabe LaHue

Dr. Gabe LaHue

Soil: A Living System (SOIL_SCI 201)

This introductory 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.

Organic and Sustainable Agricultural Certifications: From Principles to Practice (SOIL_SCI 303)

This course presents the principles and practical requirements for certification under the USDA National Organic Program and other certifications focused on sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr. Lisa DeVetter

Dr. Lisa DeVetter

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.

Dr. Chakradhar Mattupalli

Dr. Chakradhar Mattupalli

Biology and Control of Plant Diseases (PL_P 501)

This 3-credit course introduces students to basic concepts regarding the biology of plant pathogens, the role of environmental conditions in promoting development of plant diseases, and the development of effective approaches to disease control.

Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue

Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue

Food Systems in Western Washington (AFS 350)

Introduction to local and regional food systems unique to western Washington with an emphasis on the farm-to-table processes of foods and beverages.

Capstone (AFS 401)

The culminating capstone course for the AFS Organic and Sustainable Agriculture degree, this class is designed to integrate and apply all of the skills students acquired in previous coursework, to analyze current challenges and opportunities in agriculture.

Employment Opportunities

OSA students studying through WSU Everett who would like to gain hands-on experience in agricultural research are encouraged to apply for temporary employment opportunities at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. The Center hosts 10 agricultural research programs and we frequently have openings for hourly research assistants. Students who are interested in opportunities at NWREC are encouraged to send an application to Gabe LaHue. OSA students may also contact Nannette McGrath, WSU Everett OSA student advisor for more information.

If you require an alternative format for any of the document provided in this webpage, please contact:

​Mikelyn Rochford