Agriculture in Arkansas
Agriculture accounts for 16 billion dollars of Arkansas’s economy. Arkansas is the leader in rice production, producing 46% of the nation’s crop, and second in the production of broilers. The state is one of the top ten producers of cotton, turkeys, soybeans, sweet potatoes and eggs. The state has significant production beef cattle, corn, timber, vegetable crops and fruit production. Arkansas is home to several large companies with an agriculture base, including Wal-Mart the largest food retailer in the world, Tyson Foods, the largest poultry and meat processor in the United States, and Riceland Foods, the largest rice exporter in the United States. Many other companies have a presence in Arkansas providing supplies and services to the state’s agriculture producers. Agriculture provides a significant number of jobs in Arkansas and is the base for 16% of the jobs in Arkansas and provides 17% of the labor income in the state. Check out the Career page to find where some graduates from the Ag Department are currently employed.
Degrees offered by the Agriculture Department are designed to provide all students, regardless of their major, with a basic knowledge of agriculture while allowing the student to specialize in a particular area. The department offers degrees in business, education, animal science, plant science and pre-veterinary science. All students take the “Ag Core” which includes a series of classes that introduce students to different segments of agriculture. Most of these classes are freshmen and sophomore level classes designed to introduce the topic to the student.
The faculty and staff of the department are willing to work with all students with an interest in agriculture to aid them in being successful during their studies at SAU. Degree plans are designed for students to be able to switch majors within the department during their first couple of semesters without the loss of credit hours. Most freshmen and sophomore students take similar agricultural, biology and chemistry classes during their first couple of years, allowing students to develop relationships with other students. The faculty have open door policies and spend a significant number of hours outside of class each week interacting with students.
The department promotes the use of summer internships and also aids those students seeking jobs after graduation. See the career page for a glimpse of where some of our alumni are employed.