Agriculture, Sustainable

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Agriculture, Sustainable Courses

Advanced Beekeeping: Extractions
This advanced beekeeping course introduces the concepts and practices for handling extraction situations including: swarms, bees in buildings/water meters/irrigation systems, and bees in trees. There may be hands on opportunities when nature, timing and safety permits.

Crops Science for Organic Agriculture
Fundamentals of the development and production of crops pertinent to sustainable and organic mixed vegetable operations. Topics include the classification of crops, growth habits and botany, varieties, pest management, and harvesting. Although mainly a lecture course, there will be opportunities to observe crops at various stages of production on the campus farm.

Farm and Ranch Shop Skills
This course covers fundamentals of shop skills used in agricultural processes applicable towards maintenance and repair of farm facilities and equipment. Topics include arc welding, oxyacetylene cutting and welding, drawing and planning projects, tool maintenance, metal working, woodworking, plumbing and concrete. Upon completion, students should be able to answer theoretical questions on topics...

Farm to Table Workshop: Pepper Processing
Bring the farm into your kitchen by learning the skills to preserve seasonal vegetables. Topics may include fermentation, pickling, dehydration and making preserves.

Enterprise Project- Independent Study in Sustainable Agriculture
Using the Elgin Campus Student Farm as their lab, each student selects a micro enterprise project and works with an instructor to create a plan for their project. Students should choose a project suiting their agricultural business interests. An enterprise project allows students to explore a particular business, crop, or product idea and take it from concept to market utilizing their growing...

Integrated Pest Management for Sustainable Agriculture
This course will survey local agricultural pests, including weeds and diseases and their impact on crops in Central Texas. Emphasis will be placed on building and maintaining healthy soil, plant and insect biological cycles as key to ecological pest control. The course will focus on identification of pest problem and sustainable methods of integrated pest management including cultural,...

Intermediate Beekeeping
This course is for those students who already have some beekeeping experience and/or have taken the introductory beekeeping course. Students will learn more about the hive and become better at the craft. Part of the course will be experiential, hands-on learning with live bees of the hives kept on campus. Other portions of the course will be in a classroom setting. Students must provide their own...

Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
This course is designed as an introduction to the concepts and principles associated with sustainable agriculture. The economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability in agroecosystems will be addressed. This course includes case studies and field trips to connect principles of sustainable agriculture to local farming systems. The students' interests and goals in sustainable...

Introduction to Beekeeping
This is an introduction to the art of beekeeping, with an emphasis on natural and organic practices. All students will emerge with enough information and hands on knowledge to start a colony of bees, and resources for answering questions that will arise as a result of beekeeping through the year. We will spend part of our time in the classroom, with a significant portion being hands on...

Introduction to Soil
Understanding and working with your soil is essential to farming and ranching. Introduction to Soil is a study of the physical properties of soil including structure and texture. Topics include the origin and development of soils, the composition of soil horizon, and the interrelationship between soil fertility and plants. Emphasis will be placed on different methods for soil conservation and...

Irrigation for Sustainable Agriculture
This course will provide an overview of irrigation systems applicable to the sustainable farm for water resource conservation and crop productivity. Topics include irrigation principles, scheduling, design, installation, and troubleshooting. Hands-on activities will take place on the campus farm.

Marketing for the Small Farm
This course will introduce concepts that will help you develop a marketing plan for your dream or actual farming enterprise. Marketing, as it applies to agricultural products - specialty crops, commodities, meat, dairy and value added - will be taught through case studies, guest speakers, peer discussion, recommended readings and field trips. In addition to creating a marketing plan, students...

Small Farm Business Planning and Operations
This course will address aspects of small farm business planning. Topics include business models, laws and regulations, farm taxes, economic principles, financial planning, risk management, record keeping, budgeting, employee/employer responsibilities, communications, and human relation skills. Entrepreneurship will be emphasized in this course, and students are expected to complete an...

Small Scale Farming
This on-farm course is the hands-on application to the preceding introductory classes in the program. This course will be an experiential introduction to small-scale farming techniques with emphasis on horticultural science including comprehensive and profitable guidelines. Using the Student Organic Farm at the Elgin campus as our lab we will address organic management practices of specialty...

Spring Flower Production
A one-day workshop introducing Spring flower varieties and cultivation for Central Texas. Join Prickly Pair Farm's manager in a dynamic discussion and hands-on activity on growing successful mixed flowers.

Sustainable Livestock Management
This course covers the integration of livestock as part of a sustainable farming system with emphasis on small-scale production for niche markets and pasture. Topics included are appropriate breed selection, nutrition and living requirements for livestock such as cattle, goats, hogs, sheep, poultry, and bees. Upon completion, student should recognize appropriate breeds for their farm needs and...

Sustainable Orchard Production
This course will introduce the basic concepts of fruit tree selection, planting and care as appropriate for Central Texas. Considerations for integrating fruit trees as part of your diversified operation or as the main production crop will be addressed. Topics include site selection, variety considerations, harvest and post-harvest handling, pest management, pruning and training. Emphasis will be...


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