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Agribusiness classes offered

Whether an agricultural producer or a food consumer, each of us is affected by what happens within our food production system.  Southside Virginia Community College’s agribusiness program assesses all aspects of the food production system and offers four agribusiness courses this fall, including online options. 

In the animal science course (AGR 141), students will gain an overview of the types of livestock raised in the United States and will get a basic understanding of the science behind the nutrition and reproduction of farm animals. The plant science course (AGR 142) provides a similar type of background in plant biology, with a look at ecosystems, climate, soils, plant structure, and plant growth and development. A key component of these two science courses is a Friday lab which takes students into the field to see agricultural production and agribusiness in action. In past semesters, students have visited beef, dairy, swine, goat, and diversified animal operations; tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, small grain, and fruit/vegetable operations; as well as input supply and output marketing firms such as Meherrin Chemical, CPS, Spaulding Equipment, Southern States, Farm Credit, Clay’s Garden Center, and Mid Atlantic Gin.  Online students are provided with options that will work for their individual situations.

The agribusiness marketing course (AGR 231) provides an understanding of consumer decision-making and all of the steps that it takes to get a product from the farmer to the end consumer.  Students create a marketing plan for a product or service of their choice, conducting market research, selecting a target consumer, selecting a pricing strategy, and determining the best way of getting the product into the consumers’ hands.  This course would be particularly helpful to existing farms or businesses seeking to expand or diversify operations. 

The food production and food safety course (AGR 233) addresses the types of processing that farm products undergo in route to the final consumer and emphasizes food safety regulations in place to keep the U.S. food supply safe.  Students will create a biosecurity plan for a farm of their choice. 

In addition to the traditional seated daytime course offerings, the agribusiness program is offering these courses in an online format.  Students can register for the online section of the course and can listen to the two weekly lectures via the course Blackboard site. The lecture will include a PowerPoint presentation and an audio recording of the seated class.  In place of any in-class activities assigned to the students in the seated section of the course, students in the online section will be given an assignment to be completed on the Blackboard discussion board.  Therefore, students who are unable to enroll in the seated courses due to work or family obligations can still participate in the agribusiness program.  If there is ever a time that online students are able to visit a campus location, they are welcome to join the seated class on those days.

Agribusiness classes will begin meeting the week of August 24 and can be added throughout that week.  To register for any of the AGR courses, visit www.southside.edu.  First-time enrollees should click on the admissions link and complete the registration request.  Current students can enroll utilizing MySVCC.  For additional information about the courses or the degrees offered through the agribusiness program, contact Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton at dixie.dalton@southside.edu or (434) 949-1053.