With a 99% job placement rate, the Fort Hays Department of Agriculture provides students with the chance to earn a degree and step right into their careers. Fort Hays' programs prepare students for careers in the farm industry, such as agricultural lending, farm management, and crop consultation. Students make an average of $44,000 a year in their first positions after they graduate.
Fort Hays alumnus Austin Chart graduated in May 2022 with a dual major in agronomy and agricultural business. Shortly after he graduated, Austin landed a trainee position at Cargill, an American food corporation that deals with livestock and agriculture. His 10-month program is training him to become a grain elevator production supervisor.
In an interview, Austin credited Fort Hays with providing a versatile curriculum that allowed him to adapt to new settings. Learning about crop production, soil properties, biology, chemistry, retail marketing, supply chains, and farm management prepared him for a variety of positions in agriculture.
"Minnesota is a little bit different as far as farming practices and things used for cropping systems. The growing season itself is just different than what we have in Western Kansas," Austin stated. "And you know, having that academic knowledge to know that even though they do things differently up here in Minnesota, I can still translate my education from agronomy and be able to say, 'Oh, okay, even if you guys do this differently, I still know what you're doing.'"
Austin's experiences with the agriculture department agronomy degree and AG business degree dual major also taught him about independence, managing finances, and taking on adult responsibilities so that he can succeed in the agricultural industry. Austin joined the United Methodist Campus Ministry, the Fort Hays Honor Society, and Delta Tau Alpha during his program. Fort Hays' student organizations provide opportunities to network, start mentorships, compete in events, and reach out to the community. Other options for agriculture students include the Virtual Agricultural Business Club and Collegiate Farm Bureau.
Fort Hays' Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business program includes business studies, such as accounting, marketing, business communication, and technical writing. The program also covers agricultural studies with classes like computer applications for agriculture and agricultural law and policy. Students learn how to manage farms, start businesses, or work for major corporations.
Students can pursue a degree option in agronomy business, which prepares them for lucrative positions as crop consultants, seed representatives, agricultural lenders, commodity marketers, and grain elevator managers. Agronomic crop diseases, weed science, and technology in agriculture are a few classes that the program offers.
A degree option in agronomy focuses on crops and soil, so graduates can pursue careers as landscapers, farm managers, and chemical representatives. This program requires general education courses, major-specific courses, and electives. Students graduate with extensive knowledge that makes them valuable to employers.
Prospective students can reach out to Fort Hays to learn more about the agriculture department and other degree opportunities. Programs require an average of 120 credit hours. Select programs are available in the fall, spring, and summer for maximum flexibility.
Fort Hays State University