Agricultural Business: Plant Science Concentration
Louisiana Tech University is the only institution in the central to north Louisiana region that offers a degree program in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Plant Science. Students enrolled in this concentration can choose from a broad range of Plant Science courses that encompass areas such as horticultural production, landscape design and contracting, agronomic applications, integrated pest management strategies, and soil and water management. The facilities offer students hands-on experience in a variety of settings that include the Louisiana Tech Greenhouses, the John D. Griffin Horticultural Gardens, Louisiana Tech Farm, outside nursery areas, and raised bed vegetable gardens. Students can also get involved in the Plant Science club “Greenscape”.
Graduates of the Program
Graduates with a degree in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Plant Science have many options for a career path. The following list contains examples of positions that may be options for graduates of the program: landscape contractor, landscape designer, greenhouse/nursery manager, golf course grounds manager, agricultural crop consultant, pesticide sales, agricultural equipment sales, County/Parish extension agent, USDA program specialist, high school agriculture teacher, laboratory supervisor, and agricultural producer.
The degree program also lays an excellent foundation for students who choose to further their education in graduate school. Pursuing a Master’s degree in areas such as Horticulture, Agronomy, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Weed Science, Agricultural Economics, and Business Administration (available at Louisiana Tech) are just a few of the options students may choose to pursue after earning their Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Plant Science.
A Plant Science minor is built in to the concentration. To earn the minor, a student must complete 18 hours of Plant Science courses with nine of those credit hours being required at a 300 or 400 level. Students enrolled in the Agricultural Business concentration and in other degree programs such as Animal Science, Agricultural Education, and Environmental Science (School of Biological Sciences) will often minor in Plant Science. Earning the Plant Science minor in these other degree programs is accomplished by using electives built in to their respective curricula.
Some Plant Science courses are offered annually while others vary depending on student interest and faculty availability. The following is a list of Plant Science course offerings from the Louisiana Tech University catalog. The (G) stands for graduate credit. Students enrolled in the Master of Science program in the School of Biological Sciences have the option of including graduate level courses on their plan of study.
PLSC 101-Introduction to Plant Science: Basic plant biology and concepts of production and management of agronomic and horticultural crops.
PLSC 211-Forage Crops and Pasture Management: A study of the growth adaptation and culture of forage crops including types of plants, methods of establishment and improvement, and use of forages.
PLSC 220-Greenhouse Management: Principles, practices, and operations involved in greenhouse and nursery production.
PLSC 284-Landscape Plants: Identification of common landscape plants; including culture, propagation, and use.
PLSC 301-Landscape Design and Contracting:Elements and principles of design for homes and small properties; contracting operations including estimates and bidding, plant installation, and maintenance.
PLSC 310-Soil Science: A general study of soil science, emphasizing the relation of soil properties and processes to plant growth.
PLSC 311-Soil Science Laboratory: Laboratory exercises emphasizing fundamental soil properties and analytical techniques.
PLSC 312: Turf Management-Establishment and management of turfgrasses in the southern United States.
PLSC 400-Special Problems: Assignments in floral or landscape design, greenhouse or field production projects or other horticulture practica.
PLSC 422-Pest Management: Basic concepts of integrated pest management; pesticide laws and regulations, labeling, formulations, application procedures, environmental behavior, and safety. (G)
PLSC 423-Agricultural Pests: Identification and control of common weed, insect, nematode, and disease pests that affect landscapes and horticultural crops in the southern United States. (G)
PLSC 440-Nursery Management: Production, handling and sales practices in the nursery, greenhouse, and garden center. (G)
PLSC 450-Management of Soil and Water Quality: Study of environmental techniques that affect soil and water quality with emphasis on nutrient management, soil erosion, and best management practices.