Kate Jordan, San Jacinto College agriculture professor, presents a lesson on the trends and safety standards in the pork industry. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department
San Jacinto College program highlights research and careers in food and sustainable agriculture
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- January 30, 2013
PASADENA, Texas – The demand to feed the world's growing population will increase food production by 70 percent over the next few decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In result, more agricultural and food science career opportunities are expected to follow.
San Jacinto College recently introduced programs for agriculture and agribusiness to offer students education in an area that addresses reliance on food and sustainable agricultural practices. Job growth for food scientists and technologists is expected to be driven by the demand for new food products and food safety measures. Food research is also expected to increase because the public is more aware of nutrition and the need to keep herd animals from getting infections, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"The agriculture industry is continually growing to support the drastically growing population, so the outlook for graduates in the field of agriculture is very positive," said Kate Jordan, agriculture professor at San Jacinto College, adding that one of 12 U.S. jobs is already related to the agriculture industry. "This is an ever-changing, ever-growing field."
Students have the choice of selecting the agriculture associate degree program for the study of animal science, agriculture education, food and plant science, etc., or the agribusiness associate degree program for managing agriculture business or work in agriculture communications. For many students, the programs provide a broader insight to the industry and career opportunities.
"I've found agriculture to be a lot more than what people realize," said Natalie Brooks of Mont Belvieu. "Everywhere you look there is agriculture. It's about plants, medicine, the environment; there's more to it than farming and livestock." Brooks plans to transfer to Texas A&M University in the coming years to further her studies in agriculture in hopes of working in forest services or as an environmental planner for a community.
Career avenues in agriculture include management, parks and recreation, plant science, food science, animal science, and engineering. Positions include such titles as water resource engineer, food chemist, quality control manager, landscape designer, park ranger, population surveyor, commodity trader, agricultural production specialist, and financial manager.
"Agriculture has been steadily increasing because of the need for high quality, nutrient rich food," said Jordan. "Our program is a great way for students to explore this industry and figure out where they want to go next, whether that means immediate work in agriculture with their associate degree or transfer to a university where we have strong partnerships."
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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