Concordia University, Nebraska announces agricultural science program
December 12, 2018
SEWARD, Neb. — Students pursuing a career in agriculture now have a new option for their undergraduate education in Nebraska. Concordia University, Nebraska will offer a bachelor of science degree in agricultural science starting in fall 2019.
The program will help fill a growing need among agricultural employers who are looking for graduates with a well-rounded education.
"The addition of an agricultural science program takes full advantage of our location and is a logical extension of our mission, allowing Concordia to equip even more men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership," said Tim Preuss, Concordia University provost.
By taking a broad, general approach to the degree, students will learn main agriculture concepts — animal science, plant science, food science and agribusiness — through a Christ-centered, Lutheran perspective that will equip them to be responsible stewards of God's creation.
"Leaders within the field have repeatedly told us that local agricultural businesses want to hire broadly educated students who understand the breadth of the industry and can 'speak ag,'" Preuss said.
With one in four jobs in Nebraska relating to agriculture, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Concordia's program will prepare students for service throughout the industry, whether as producers, site managers for multinational or regional companies, financial service providers or entrepreneurs in precision agriculture management.
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"Young people from rural areas will get a personalized academic experience on a small campus and then go work in an industry that impacts both urban and rural America," said Corey Gray, Concordia University director of career development and retention. "This program meets a need on all fronts."
Concordia's location in Seward County, a thriving agricultural area with nearly 1,000 farms and various multinational and regional industry facilities, provides extensive hands-on learning opportunities for students. The program will include internships with local producers, seed companies, lenders, food processors, livestock breeders and agribusiness companies. With these opportunities, students will gain real-world experience in the industry while taking classes from experts in the field.
"There is tremendous excitement about the launch of this program among Concordia's prospective students, alumni and many agribusiness partners across the state and region," Preuss said. "It has the potential to propel Concordia to the forefront in providing outstanding graduates to meet the needs of employers and communities in Nebraska, where one out of every four jobs is ag-related, and throughout the Midwest."
Agricultural science will be housed in Concordia's newest building, the Dunklau Center for Science, Math and Business, scheduled to be completed late 2019. The Dunklau Center includes 11 laboratory classrooms, including spaces for plant and animal science, two lecture halls, a greenhouse and multiple research labs within the building's 86,000 square feet.
"Concordia's investment in this program is in facilities, relationships and curriculum," Gray said. "We have made a commitment to ag in Nebraska and the region, and students who choose Concordia for our ag program will be prepared for success."
For further details about Concordia's Agricultural Science program, visit cune.edu/ag. ❖