- AG 516 Regenerative Farming Systems
This course introduces to the student the concept of systems of agriculture. In particular, the broadly defined system labeled as regenerative will be discussed. The course includes a rigorous discussion about what is regenerative and what is not regenerative within a farming system. The students are invited as a part of this course to participate in the evolution of definition on what is regenerative by nature within a farming system. This will include the consideration of what is regenerative with respect to crops, animals, soils, and whole ecosystems. This course will look at farming systems around the world as examples of regenerative applications in farming.
- AG 521 Agroforestry
Agroforestry is a form of agriculture that utilizes trees to enhance landscape productivity and resilience, thereby contributing to the sustainable production of food, wood, medicinal, and other industrial raw materials. This land use management technique improves agroecology of landscapes and enhances the livelihood of people. Agroecology encompasses diverse applications such as improved soil fertility and carbon cycle, water retention of soils, protection from pests and diseases, protection of soils from water and wind erosion, etc. Students will learn about the principles, classifications, and practical applications of agroforestry systems in agricultural production and environmental management.
- AG 540A Cultivation & Utilization of Medicinal Herbs
Growing medicinal and culinary herbs is a specialization of horticulture. Gain knowledge of various temperate and tropical medicinal herbs, cultivation practices, and traditional utilization. The course covers: 1) Introduction and ethnobotany of herbs, such as aloe vera, basil, chamomile, chives, lemongrass, mints, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, nettle, and yarrow, along with some tropical herbs like ginger, turmeric, amla, pepper, and ashwagandha. 2) Chemical composition of herbs. 3) Cultivation practices, including nursery techniques, soil and climatic requirements, methods and seasonal planting of herbs, maintenance, and sustainable harvesting practices. Prerequisites: 60 college credit hours plus previous course in botany/chemistry desired.
- AG 540B Post-Harvest Processing, Extraction, & Quality Control of Medicinal Herbs
Post-harvest processing, extraction, value addition, and quality control procedures of medicinal herbs. This course is an extension of AG 540A Cultivation & Utilization of Medicinal Herbs. The course covers: 1) Post-harvest processing of herbs – minimal processing, methods of drying, dehydration, and storage temperature and conditions. 2) Methods of extraction of herbs, including fresh- and dry- maceration, decoction, and fermentation. 3) Value addition to the herbs, including herb formulation – herb mixes, essential oils, face creams, herb syrups, etc. – and pesticide formulation. 4) Assessing identity and purity of herbs based on quality control procedures, such as Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and Good Sourcing Practice (GSP), to be followed during cultivation and processing.
- AG 580 Soil Ecology
This course will focus on the comprehensive study of soil biology with an emphasis on soil microbiology. The microcosm of the soil has outward effects on the macrocosm of the agro-ecosystem.
In regenerative organic agriculture, establishing and maintaining healthy biology in the soil is a critical component in farm management. Plant health depends on soil health. The foundation for maintenance of healthy soil is knowledge of the composition and dynamics of soil organisms. From the agricultural perspective, this knowledge is applied in management practices that enhance a diverse and balanced soil biota.
We will study how plants interact with the soil life from the level of root colonization with beneficial organisms, to how plants support diverse microbial partnerships in the rooting zone, and outwards to the ways macroscopic soil organisms affect the plant-microbial system. We will introduce some methods for studying community complexity, diversity, and distributions of soil microbiomes, such as metagenomic and multi-omics approaches. Bioremediation, inoculation, and other ways to regenerate soil communities in agro-ecosystems will be investigated. Prerequisites: 60 college credit hours plus general biology, ecology, and microbiology desired.
- AG 591 Advanced Horticulture
This course is an extension of the core course on horticultural science. In this course the student will study the organic cultivation of fruits and vegetables. The course will include an in-depth study of organic management of the problems common to this production, including prevention and control of disease and insect problems, soil preparation, bedding systems, mulching systems, irrigation systems, greenhouse production systems, storage, transporting and marketing of organic fresh produce and other topics pertinent to the horticultural field. Composting raw organic materials will be discussed as an input for supporting crop production.