Clemson - Clemson University’s School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences (SAFES) has seen a 30 percent increase in freshmen enrollment over 2011, according to Katie Black, coordinator of student relations and recruitment in Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
“Clemson is riding a wave of increased enrollment in colleges of agriculture nationwide, “ Black said. “Students are realizing that they can follow their passion for the agriculture sciences, engage with the latest technology, and also have great job prospects waiting for them when they graduate.”
SAFES enrollment jumped from 96 students in 2011 to 124 in 2012. Within the school, conservation biology, horticulture, and wildlife and fisheries biology saw the greatest increase in enrollment. Of the thirteen fields of study offered within SAFES, eight saw increased enrollment.
“There are great career opportunities for students who graduate with degrees in agricultural-related majors. Companies throughout the U.S. and the world are trying to solve big problems like expanding the global food supply through technology and increased efficiency and enhancing food safety. Young people who graduate from colleges of agriculture have a role in tackling those issues,” said Patricia Layton, director of SAFES.
The higher numbers follow a national trend of increased enrollment in agricultural schools throughout the U.S., according to a recent report in USA Today.
Ian Maw, vice president for food, agriculture and natural resources at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C is quoted in the article: “There's a better understanding that when we use the term agriculture, it's not all plows and cows. It's clearly looking at the real intricacies of science and innovation.”
For example, faculty and graduate students in Clemson’s Agricultural Mechanization and Business program have developed a technology allowing for remote hydraulic quick connects using the existing hydrostat circuit on many zero turn radius lawn mowers and machines. This ZTR PTO greatly enhances the versatility of ZTR mowers by allowing them to run implements such as leaf blowers, log splitters, bucket loaders, and more.
Students who graduate from the Agricultural Mechanization & Business program can pursue careers in professions including government regulation, irrigation, agricultural chemicals, construction or agricultural machinery sales and marketing, soil and water conservation, agricultural seeds and fertilizers, precision agriculture, and corporate or family farm management.