A photo of a person in a garden

Sustainable Agriculture

College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture is designed for students interested in working in the growing field of ecologically-based agriculture in areas of production, research and education. UMaine’s program was the first Sustainable Agriculture program in the country.

  • Research and fieldwork opportunities for undergraduate students
  • Maine is home to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the oldest and largest farming membership organization in the country, which supports successful farm apprenticeships and farm training programs.
  • Maine has a strong and diverse agricultural food system with high interest in local food and sustainable growing practices.
  • UMaine Greens: the student group working to grow and supply UMaine campus dining halls with fresh, organic salad greens during the academic year.
  • Roger Clapp Greenhouses are the site of several University of Maine classes and labs. The greenhouses serve as a year-round green space on campus with a plant collection that includes bananas, succulents and orchids.
  • Students engage in a wide range of sustainable agriculture research, extension, and teaching projects at The Rogers Farm Forage and Crop Research Facility.
  • Students apply their knowledge to real-world sustainability problems by working directly with farms and food systems businesses and organizations through capstone and other classes.

The sustainable agriculture program at the University of Maine offers a Bachelor of Science degree that provides students with the scientific background and hands-on experience needed to lead fulfilling and impactful professional lives in fields related to sustainable food, agriculture, or other natural resource management sectors and to succeed in early-career positions in sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, or research.

The program emphasizes: building healthy soil through crop rotations; organic soil amendments; erosion management; protecting water quality by reducing synthetic chemical use; pest and weed management using integrated, ecologically sound approaches; increasing farm profits; income stability through diverse, community-based enterprises; use of scientific principles to propose and test farming practices that better mimic natural ecosystems.

Our faculty are student-centered, approachable and encouraging. They are engaged with undergraduate students and often involve them in their research programs. They are recognized experts in sustainable agriculture in the state, nationally and internationally.

With this degree, students can lead impactful professional lives in fields related to sustainable food, agriculture or other natural resource management sectors. Graduates have been employed as organic or sustainable farm managers, self-employed market farmers, research technicians, sales and marketing professionals for food retailers, educational outreach leaders and in community based nonprofit organizations. Students supplement classroom learning by putting their knowledge to use in real-life situations through their field experience and capstone service learning class. Students select their own internship or job opportunity to gain practical work experience that best suits their career goals, with guidance and support from experienced faculty.

The University of Maine’s Honors College, one of its signature programs of excellence, has formed a Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC). The SFSRC brings together students, faculty and community partners in an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems of food production, food distribution and hunger. The problems posed by community partners are addressed through students’ honors theses, with UMaine Honors faculty and other UMaine professors serving as thesis advisors and mentors.

Bryan Peterson

Interim Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Deering Hall, Room 418
| bryan.j.peterson@maine.edu

Sustainable Agriculture

College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences

Rogers Hall