Integrated Agriculture & Food Systems
The Integrated Agriculture and Food Systems program will prepare students to develop and manage their own farm business, or to pursue careers in agricultural and horticultural science, sales, or production. While enrolled in the program, individuals will learn the fundamentals of crop, soil, and livestock management, along with the business skills necessary to operate a farm enterprise. The program focuses on the integration of crop and livestock production principles to create sustainable farming and food systems. Through laboratory courses, field trips, and internships on the FVCC campus farm and in the community, the Integrated Agriculture and Food Systems program provides students with a hands-on, multidisciplinary experience in agriculture and food systems. Upon completion of this program, students will:
- Describe the components and complexities of our modern food system;
- Demonstrate knowledge of crop and livestock production methods;
- Identify, diagnose and manage pests and diseases of crop plants and livestock;
- Consider the whole-farm implications of their management decisions;
- Safely and effectively operate farm machinery and equipment;
- Describe various marketing opportunities in small and large-scale agriculture; and
- Identify the necessary steps to start and operate a new business.
See the Academic Catalog.
Heather Estrada, Ph.D.
Agriculture Assistant Professor/Program Director
Heather Estrada brings a wide range of experience to her position as the agriculture assistant professor and program director at Flathead Valley Community College. Prior to coming to FVCC to develop the new agriculture program, Heather worked as an assistant professor of cropping systems at Montana State University’s Northwestern Agriculture Research Center in Creston and as a land use agronomist in Alberta, Canada. Heather earned her Ph.D. in plant science at the University of Alberta, Canada, where she taught courses including Cereal, Oilseed and Pulse Crops and Advanced Biometrical Techniques in Agricultural Science. In addition to her experience in the field, Heather has been published in academic journals such as “Crop Science,” “Agronomy Journal” and “Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.” This fall, Heather will teach Animal Science, Plant Science and Introduction to Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems.
FVCC Farm Manager
Having owned and operated Swallow Crest Farm here in the Flathead Valley since 1997, Julian Cunningham brings many years of small-scale farming experience to his job as FVCC Campus Farm Manager. In addition to production of organic vegetables and fruits for local consumption, he has provided internships on his farm since 2000. He earned degrees in elementary education and general studies from the University of Idaho and has worked in sustainable agriculture in Missouri, Norway, Idaho and Montana. Julian looks forward to combining his passions for education, farming and building construction as the college prepares to launch its new Integrated Agriculture and Food Systems Program this fall.
Dr. Heather Estrada
For general information, contact the Admissions office: (406) 756-3847.
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Last modified: February 16, 2015