Horticulture

Ag Tech

Do you want to change the face of agriculture and learn by doing? Come study Sustainable Agriculture Technology at Cabrillo college.

Ag Tech is the intersection of agriculture and technology; it is an emerging industry with new career opportunities. Sustainable Agriculture Technology students study horticulture and plant science curriculum and develop their skills in a broad range of agriculture technology topics including: data management, GIS mapping, networking technology tools on farm, producing plants in nutrient film technique, deep raft, ebb and flood, and substrate hydroponic production systems, electrical and hydraulic engineering basics, soil moisture sensing, and energy and water conservation.

Upon completion, students will be prepared for emerging careers at the nexus of agriculture, technology, and sustainable food production including precision agriculture technicians, greenhouse managers, hydroponic growers, farmers, ranch or operations managers, field technicians and many more.

The primary objectives of this program are:

  1. To train horticulturalists skilled in the plant production in multiple high tech growing systems.
  2. To provide each student with the fundamental knowledge of plant biology, plant production, agriculture research, technology tools, and computer literacy to make high tech agriculture more sustainable.
  3. To create opportunities for students to solve complex production, technology, sustainability, and research problems, resulting in more diversely trained horticulturists who are prepared to solve tomorrow’s agriculture business problems.
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About

Ag Tech is the intersection of agriculture and technology; it is an emerging industry with new career opportunities. How will robots, big data, drones, and vertical farms shape the agriculture and horticulture industries? No one yet knows! Our goal is to create diversely trained Ag Tech graduates who are knowledgeable in high tech productions systems and prepared to shape the future of sustainable, high tech agriculture. Course work crosses six departments so students will be prepared to combine skills in data management, computer information technology, geographic information systems, and engineering into plant science and high tech agriculture production. MORE

Students will study across six academic departments including:
  • How Things Work in Engineering
  • Technology Tools in Computer Science
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems in Geography
  • Computer Network Fundamentals in Computer and Information Systems
  • Excel in Computer Applications/Business Technology
and many classes in Horticulture including:
  • Greenhouse Design and Operation
  • Irrigation Systems and Management
  • Hydroponic and Substrate Production
Degree Information

The course of study will cover all aspects of technology and horticultural study including hydroponics, aquaponics, organic substrate production, GIS/GPS, water and energy conservation, and computing and connecting technology tools and data streams on farm. Students will finish this degree program prepared for careers as precision agriculture technicians, greenhouse managers, hydroponic growers, farmers, ranch or operations managers, first line supervisors for agriculture and horticulture industries, biological technicians, among others. This program is designed for those wishing to go directly into employment in the agriculture and horticulture industries; therefore, students wishing to transfer to a Bachelor’s degree should consult a counselor or consider the AS-T degree in Agriculture Plant Science. MORE

Course of Study

For additional course information, see the Schedule of Classes

Ag Tech Course of Study 

Student Projects

Students learn through experiential research and service learning projects that are incorporated into core curriculum. Current projects included LED lighting intensity vs. duration research, building an aquaponics setup for a local high school, and designing an ADA accessible hydroponic greenhouse for a local nonprofit.

Careers

Upon completion, students will be prepared for emerging careers at the nexus of agriculture, technology, and sustainable food production including precision agriculture or biological technicians, greenhouse managers, hydroponic growers, farmers, ranch or operations managers, first line supervisors for farming, and many more. OCCUPATIONAL AND CAREER INFORMATION

Job Market

Typical PositionSalary Per Year*First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers$50,905Biological Technicians$43,807Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers$60,838

*Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Statistics for Santa Cruz County, 2017 First Quarter Wages.

Occupational & Career Information

Search for an occupation by keyword in California or Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties and get wages and job outlook.

AgTech Club

The AgTech Club’s first project is to grow food in Cabrillo Horticulture's new vertical farm. They also plan to visit farms and research universities.

E-mail the club to learn more.