Sustainable Plant Systems

Sustainable Plant Systems involves providing the world with plants for food, pleasure and recreation, and environmental improvement. As the population continues to expand, there is an increasing need to limit our reliance on imports while preventing further damage to the environment. Students have the opportunity to specialize in the following areas:

Agroecology Focuses on understanding and applying ecological principles in crop production to integrate natural biological cycles and controls, make efficient use of resources, enhance environmental quality, and increase biodiversity.

Agronomy

Agronomy is the application of biological, chemical and physical principles to crops and cropping systems to increase their efficiency in converting light and supplemental resources into food, feed and fiber products. Students learn to effectively regulate crop productivity through management decisions as they study the interrelationships among physical and biological factors.

Horticulture Horticulture is the application of scientific principles to grow vegetables, fruits ornamental plants, and landscape design, as well as business principles to sell the commodities. Horticulture professionals must know many different kinds of plants and their basic characteristics: scientific and common names and how they grow, develop, reproduce and adapt to different environments. Using this knowledge they create growing conditions specific for a plant to have optimal growth and yield and reduce potential problems such as pests and diseases.
Plant Biosciences Plant Biosciences is a broad study of plant biology including plant form and function, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants. The Plant Bioscience specialization opens doors to a diverse array of career pathways including business, research in both governmental and private sectors, teaching and agricultural extension.  The Plant Bioscience specialization is ideal for students wishing to pursue careers in the plant biotechnology, pharmaceutical, energy, and chemical industries, in food and seed companies, in botanical gardens, museums, and herbaria, or who plan to pursue graduate study in the field of plant biology and related plant science disciplines.
Turfgrass Science Turfgrass Science is an integrated program that studies the grasses used to enhance our environment. Turf reduces glare, noise, air pollution, heat buildup and visual pollution; provides recreational benefits to outdoor sporting events such as golf, football, baseball and soccer; and creates an aesthetically attractive surrounding for homes, buildings and cities. Students learn to manage and maintain turf as they gain knowledge in plant biology, soil and turfgrass science.

 

Possible Career Options

Agroecology

Environmental Consultant Extension Educator
Food Policy or Food Systems Specialist/Consultant
Producer/Farm Manager Sales Representative Manager
Researcher  

Agronomy

 

Breeding and Genetics Researcher Producer/Farm Manager
County Extension Agent Crop Consultant
Feed Sales Agronomist Fertilizer Sales Manager
Molecular Biologist Plant Geneticist
Seed Sales Representative Vineyard or Orchard Owner
Sales Representative Manager  
Horticulture Florist Garden Center Manager
Greenhouse Manager Horticulture Extension Educator
Landscape Designer Horticulturist
Plant Breeder Public Garden Horticulturist
Garden Center Manager Hardscape Install Design Specialist
Horticulturist Interiorscaper
Landscape Designer Nursery or Garden Center Manager
Purchasing Agent  
Plant Biosciences Agronomist or Horticulturalist Curator
Educator Researcher
Sales Representative/Manager Technician

Turfgrass Science

Athletic Field Manager Chemical Dealer
Design Associate Educator
Fertilizer Product Developer Golf Course Superintendant
Lawn Care Specialist Marketing Manager
Plant Breeder Sod Producer
Turf Industry Sales Manager Chemical Dealer

 

Classes and Curriculum
Agronomy Students will take classes in plant biology, crop production, grain crops and forages, soil science, plant pathology, and entomology. 
Horticulture Students will take classes in biology, greenhouse and nursery management, fruit and vegetable production, and pest management.
Students will take classes revolving around plants, the environment, landscape and garden design, computer assisted design, site development, and installation and maintenance of landscapes.
Turfgrass Science Students will study biology, chemistry, and physics as they relate to turf as well as the scientific principles and technical applications behind developing turf for different situations. 

 

After Graduation
  EMPLOYED GRAD SCHOOL SEEKING EMPLOYMENT AVERAGE SALARY
Agronomy 81.8% 13.6% 4.6% $38,207
Horticulture 57.2% 28.5% 14.3% $29,120
Turfgrass Science 83.3% 0% 16.7% $30,000

* Numbers are based on responses from graduates at six months post-graduation date.

 

Getting Involved
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Crops and Soils Club

The Crops and Soils Club provides social, educational, and leadership experiences for students interested in the fields of crops, soils, conservation, turf, and other related areas. This club serves as a fundraising organization for the Soils Judging and Weeds Teams. Members are also given the opportunity to meet and network with various industry professionals.

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Landscape and Floriculture Forum (LAFF)

The Landscape and Floriculture Forum (LAFF) is open to any OSU student interested in landscaping, floriculture, or who has a general interest in plants. LAFF serves as a means for students to build community by interacting with faculty, staff, and other students. Members volunteer in gardens on campus, explore conservatories, go on hikes, and participate in other activities that help them engage with their appreciation for plants. 

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Pi Alpha Xi (PAX)

Pi Alpha Xi is a national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students in floriculture, ornamental horticulture, and landscape horticulture. Their purpose is to promote fellowship between students, educators, and the professional horticultural community who share in the belief of enrichment of human life through plants. 

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Turfgrass Club

The Turfgrass Club provides students interested in a career in turfgrass management the opportunity to interact professionally and socially with other students as well as industry and academic professionals. The club engages in a variety of activities and community service projects, traveling to the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America, Sports Turf Managers Association, and The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Conferences.

Questions?
Contact:
Regina Vann Hickok Meredith Luikart
Academic Program Manager Academic Program Coordinator
Department of Horticulture and Crop Science Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
(614) 292-3866 (614) 688-5319

 

Amy Jo Baughman
Coordinator of Prospective Student Services
(614) 292-2416