Become a Consultant in Regenerative Organic Agriculture
- Learn how to regenerate soils, maximize water efficiency, and increase biodiversity throughout your landscape
- Receive personalized mentorship from experts in the field of regenerative agriculture
- Connect with farms across the US and beyond to further develop your skill sets
To graduate with a Specialization in Regenerative Organic Agriculture, students must complete:
- AG 300 Permaculture Design Certification (4 credits)
- 28 additional credits from any AG-designated courses
- required courses for the Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences or any other bachelor’s degree program you choose.
Courses for this specialization may include:
Other online courses
History of Organic Agriculture
Study the history of agriculture. This history is mostly a demonstration of organic methods. Modern chemical agriculture is only a recent development. We will explore the origins of agriculture from the evidence unearthed in the fields of archeology, religious study, and anthropology. Students will engage in case study of indigenous agriculture practices over the last thousands of years around the world, from all continents of the globe – illustrating there is nothing new under the sun. Students will be presented with the intellectual and practical prospect of learning from history what might be applied today in modern agriculture under the umbrella of regenerative organic agriculture.
Soil Science covers the basics of soil physical and chemical properties, and how biological elements in the soil are influenced by, and exert influences on those physical and chemical properties. However, the primary focus will be on the inherent properties of soils arising from their mineral content and physical constituents, as a foundation for a more comprehensive exploration of soils in Regenerative Organic Agriculture in higher-level courses.
An introduction to the basic principles of crop production and best management practices (BMPs) in Regenerative Organic Agriculture will consist of studying the biology of crop species, their growth requirements, and the soil management needed to achieve those requirements. After that, we go into cropping systems and practices, the essential types of machinery used for each crop species, tillage, fertility management, weed control, crop rotations, and control of pests and diseases. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to increase efficiency and productivity in the organic production context, while maintaining and improving soil quality. (2 credits) Prerequisites: College-level introductory biology including basic plant structure and physiology, or consent by the program director.
This course is an exploration of the issues and regenerative solutions for growing horticultural crops. The emphasis will be on vegetables, but the principles are also relevant to fruits, herbs, and ornamentals. We will study the growth and production of horticultural crops in the context of their environment. This includes the interaction of crops with both the abiotic and biotic environment. The abiotic environment includes soil structure and mineral nutrition, climate and weather, light, air, and water. The biotic environment includes soil organisms; insects, both beneficial and pests; and microorganisms, both beneficial and those that cause disease.
Throughout the course we will consider ways to manage crops and their environment in ways that maximize crop health and productivity while enriching the soil, increasing biodiversity, and sequestering carbon. This will include general crop strategies, such as succession planting, cover cropping, intercropping, mulches, the timing of crops, and more. We will also explore using structures and strategies for microclimate modification and season extension. (2 credits) Prerequisites: Consent by the instructor.
Certification, Processing, & Handling
This core course will offer a comprehensive review of the rules and regulations related to the certification of organic production of agriculture commodities, the handling of such commodities from farm to consumer, and the rules which govern the processing and labeling of any such commodities as added value food, fiber, or feed end-products.
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 the 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 a community’s complexity, the diversity and distributions of soil microbiomes, such as metagenomic and multi-omics approaches. Bio-remediation, inoculation, and other ways to regenerate soil communities in agroecosystems will be investigated.
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 the 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.
Global Organic Agriculture Practices
This course will focus on the global status of organic agriculture with respect to legal and organizational considerations in both the private and public sectors. Together, we will compare certification requirements around the world and look at the history of organic agriculture certification. We will review case study topics currently under debate in the public sector related to certification definitions and procedures.
Science of Permaculture
Permaculture is a design science centered on whole system thinking. It is both a philosophical understanding of natural resource management and a body of practical techniques for sustainable, regenerative support of human life. Permaculture designs habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. It has many branches including ecological design, ecological engineering, regenerative design, environmental design, and construction. This course will introduce scientific and practical principles at the basis of Permaculture Design.
This course will present the application of economic principles to the field of regenerative organic agriculture. Agricultural economics is an applied field of economics concerned with the application of economic theory in optimizing the production and distribution of food and fiber. The course will study how agricultural economics influences food policy, agricultural policy, and environmental policy.
Other on-campus courses
Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture
Soil Science & Applications
Vegetable Crop Sciences
Pest and Fertility Management
Water Management and Conservation Strategies
Solutions for Environmental Challenges: Urban Design and Season Extension
Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship
Making it easy for transfer students
If you transfer in 60 or more credits, the degree can be completed in four semesters. (Transfer students can inquire with their admissions counselor to learn the exact number of credits needed to graduate.)
Dive within and find yourself
As a student at MIU, you’ll learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, an evidence-based technique that promotes inner peace and wellness, enhances clear thinking, improves learning ability, and boosts creativity.