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Agriculture

The mission of the Agriculture Program is to serve as a partner with the diverse agriculture industry to provide students with the attitudes, abilities, and problem-solving capabilities to meet career responsibilities and lead agriculture into the future.

Jobs related to agriculture in Washington State are as diverse as the crops produced. Learn more about the agriculture industry by visiting the Agriculture Center of Excellence.​

As the number one employer in central Washington, the agriculture industry offers exciting and challenging career opportunities. YVC’s agriculture degrees provide students with the necessary skills and abilities that employers desire.

Job growth projections show an increase of up to 7% within the crop and animal production and supporting industries. This includes jobs on farms, in factories, in laboratories, and on the sales floor.

Agriculture Open House – March 21

Learn more about the diverse career opportunities available in agriculture and the science and technology behind the industry during an Agriculture Open House on March 21 at our Grandview Campus, 500 W. Main Street.

Representatives from the local agriculture industry and YVC faculty will cover topics such as agronomy and crop advising, nursery and horticulture technologies, robotics, winemaking and sensory training, and more! The event will also provide an opportunity to learn about YVC’s agriculture degrees and certificates and services for supporting student success.

  • 4:30 p.m. – Check-in and meet YVC faculty
  • 4:50 – 5:10 p.m. – Workshop 1
  • 5:10 – 5:30 p.m. – Workshop 2
  • 5:30 – 6 p.m. – Workshop 3

Come anytime 4:30 – 6 p.m. and learn more about how a YVC degree or certificate can prepare you for success and career advancement in the number one employer in central Washington. Families are welcome!

Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences (BASAG)

The pathway emphasizes leadership, management, and communication in the agricultural industry while developing broad skills in finance, strategic operations, harvest technology, soil health, plant physiology, pest management, and more.

The degree caters to working adults with industry experience. Some classes will be fully online, while lab-based classes meet in the evenings up to two times per week. Continued instruction and student interaction take place online. Full-time students, those taking 15 credits per quarter, can finish the program in two years once prerequisites have been met.

Visit BASAG Website
View Course Catalog

AAS & AAS-T Degrees

This degree is offered jointly between the Business and Agriculture departments. Students will develop an understanding of basic business management and agriculture production principles. They can apply these principles and skills to the management and operation of agribusiness firms. Examples of career opportunities include crop production managers, sales representatives, farmers and ranchers, agribusiness managers and owners, and record-keeping specialists.

Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Cultivate skills needed to meet various agriculture career responsibilities.
  • Practice basic business management principles in an agriculture context.
  • Develop a business plan that applies agriculture production principles.
  • Apply workplace safety.
  • Conduct scientific inquiry, data analysis and reporting on agriculture commodity production.
  • Demonstrate problem solving and professional communication skills to meet workplace responsibilities.

This transfer degree prepares you to transfer into the YVC Bachelor of Applied Science in Agricultural Sciences program as well as approved agriculture articulations with Washington State University. Students will develop an understanding of basic business management and agriculture production principles. They can apply these principles and skills to the management and operation of agribusiness firms. Examples of career opportunities include crop production managers, sales representatives, farmers and ranchers, agribusiness managers and owners, and record-keeping specialists.

Students must meet with an advisor as course requirements may alter due to Washington State University and YVC’s requirements.

Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Cultivate skills needed to meet various agriculture career responsibilities.
  • Practice basic business management principles in an agriculture context.
  • Develop a business plan that applies agriculture production principles.
  • Apply workplace safety.
  • Conduct scientific inquiry, data analysis and reporting on agriculture commodity production.
  • Apply interpersonal communication, cultural awareness, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills to agricultural workplaces.

This degree emphasizes the development of horticultural crop production principles with specialization in integrated management of insects, disease and weed pests. Examples of career opportunities include operations supervisors, farmers, technical advisors, field representatives, consultants, orchard mangers and crop managers.

Learn More

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Conduct field scouting operations including pest identification, crop monitoring, and soil testing.
  • Develop a crop management plan.
  • Practice crop production principles including pest and pathogen management (both pre and post harvest), irrigation, crop nutrition and soil management, and cultivation and harvest practices of various agricultural commodities.
  • Apply workplace safety in an agricultural context.
  • Conduct scientific inquiry, data analysis and reporting on agriculture commodity production.
  • Demonstrate problem solving and professional communication skills to meet crop management responsibilities.

The AAS degree emphasizes the sustainable grape production principles in Washington with specialization in the integrated management of insects, weeds, diseases and crop production. Practical hands-on training will be provided in all aspects of vineyard operations, and students will obtain broad knowledge of viticulture, mathematics, and applied sciences.

The AAS-T degree will transfer into the B.S. in Viticulture and Enology at WSU. The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University is partnering with Yakima Valley College to offer a unique pathway to WSU for students interested in agriculture related fields.

AAS  Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Practice efficient grape production procedures that accounts for seasonal timing in specific vineyard operations.
  • Investigate canopy and crop load management in relation to pruning and irrigation methodology.
  • Identify insects and diseases and their impact in the vineyard.
  • Produce appropriate safety and compliance records while following all safety protocols.
  • Model management skills that would be used to supervise vineyard personnel, including providing their training for safety and work requirements.
  • Develop a vineyard business management plan.
  • Apply interpersonal communication, cultural awareness, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills to agricultural workplaces. (AAS-T only)

The AAS-T degree will transfer into the B.S. in Viticulture and Enology at WSU. The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University is partnering with Yakima Valley College to offer a unique pathway to WSU for students interested in agriculture related fields.

AAS-T Degree Requirements

This degree provides students with an understanding of principles and application of technology associated with wine production. Students will have the opportunity to learn about wine making using appropriate production, processing, sanitation, preservation, and safety methods. Students will also apply methods to evaluate grape and wine quality. Examples of careers in this area include technician, quality control specialist, wine maker assistant, retail salesperson, and plant operation supervisor and worker.

AAS Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Generate quality wines using processes that include fermentation management, adjustments to the juice/wine, racking and transferring juice/wine, utilizing filtration methods, and maintaining barrels.
  • Use and maintain equipment necessary to winery operations.
  • Manage accurate record keeping and reporting of wine production for state and federal compliance regulations in addition to health and safety programs such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration/Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act.
  • Perform lab analyses and sensory evaluations of wines as quality assurance practices.
  • Supervise winery personnel, including providing their training for safety and work requirements.
  • Develop a winery business management plan.

Certificates

The following certificates are designed to provide students with a concentration of courses in a specific technical area. The certificates may be suitable for students who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in a particular area. All courses taken for the certificates would apply toward the related associate degree programs.

This certificate is expected to qualify students for positions within the fields of crop management and pest control. It has been developed with input from a diverse group of industry partners currently working in these roles. Students will have the option of taking AG 125 if they wish to obtain their pesticide licensure, or AGSCI 110 if they would prefer irrigation experience.

Certificate Requirements

YVC offers a Tree Fruit Production certificate. Career opportunities include horticulturists, integrated pest management specialists production managers, and processing managers.

Certificate Requirements

YVC offers a certificate in Vineyard Technology. Examples of career opportunities include grape production manager, crew supervisor, technical advisor, and production crew worker.

Certificate Requirements

The Wine Sales Certificate is designed to provide students with a concentration of courses in a specific technical area. The certificate may be suitable for students who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in a particular area. All courses taken for the certificates would apply toward the related associate degree programs. The certificate can stand-alone or be earned as a specialty certificate with the AAS-Agribusiness, AAS-Vineyard & Winery Technology, or AAS-Business Management. Careers include tasting room attendants and wine club managers.

Certificate Requirements

This certificate provides students with an understanding of principles and application of technology associated with wine production. Examples of careers in this area include technician, quality control specialist, wine maker assistant, retail salesperson, and plant operation supervisor and worker.

Certificate Requirements

I-BEST Opportunity

I-BEST opportunities enable students to develop both their literacy and job skills as they prepare for the workforce and continued study in college. I-BEST offerings pair a professional/technical content instructor with an adult basic education instructor to help students progress in reading, writing, and math while also training for a career. I-BEST students can work on improving their basic educational skills while also earning college-level credit. Students participating in I-BEST can receive specialized financial aid and academic support services.

YVC offers a three quarter I-BEST AG program that prepares students interested in a career in the wine industry. This I-BEST focuses on Viticulture and Enology while reinforcing basic reading, writing, and math. This I-BEST is available at YVC’s Grandview Campus and helps students pursue Viticulture and Wine Technology certificates and degrees in the STEM Pathway.

I-BEST Requirements

Yakima Valley Vintners

College Winery and Vineyard

YVC has an award-winning teaching winery, complete with tasting rooms located on the Yakima and Grandview campuses, called Yakima Valley Vintners. The Teaching Vineyard was added in 2010 on the Grandview Campus, providing additional practical training opportunities.

Yakima Valley Vintners
Yakima Valley Vintners wines with awards

Contacts

Trent BallAgriculture Department Chair & Faculty
Phone: 509.882.7007
Grandview Campus
Workforce Ed Building, Room 121
Yakima Campus
Skills Center Annex, Room 104
Brian BodahBachelor of Applied Science Faculty
Phone: 509.574.4690
Yakima Campus
Deccio Building, Room 231
Dr. Holly FergusonFaculty Viticulture
Phone: 509.574.4517
Yakima Campus
Deccio Building, Room 229
Stacey Gingras HuffAG Biology Faculty
Phone: 509.882.7033
Grandview Campus
Main Building, Room 136A

Barbara ZimmermannInstructional Tech Winery
Phone: 509.882.7052
Grandview Campus
Workforce Building, Room 183
Brittni PackardProgram Coordinator
Phone: 509.574.6810
Yakima Campus
Technology Complex, Room 100H