New minor in stewardship-based agriculture open to all students

By Joshua Woods

Auburn students seeking service-oriented careers or opportunities have a new academic option this year as the College of Agriculture introduces a minor in stewardship-based agriculture.

The program focuses on crop and animal production for small-scale, international and other alternative production systems, such as urban gardening.

“This program is for students not seeking careers in conventional large-scale farming, but who wish to help feed and serve communities through many of the tools we offer,” said Paul Patterson, dean of the College of Agriculture.

Professor Elizabeth Guertal, one of the architects of the minor, said the program was developed in response to the number of students seeking humanitarian opportunities.

“Students were coming to us with a drive to do something for the greater good—to help improve the communities and the lives around them,” she said. “We designed this minor to prepare students of any academic background with a working knowledge of how they can apply agricultural principles to benefit communities that are less fortunate than them.”

Guertal said it was a priority that the minor be accessible to any student at Auburn, regardless of academic major, which is why the program requires few prerequisites.

“We did not want students to be discouraged from declaring this minor because of advanced prerequisite courses such as organic chemistry,” she said.

Completion of the minor requires 16-19 credit hours, including Basic Crop Science and an internship experience. Elective courses include studies in fruit and vegetable production, poultry and animal production, agribusiness, natural resources conservation, agriculture and society and related areas.

For more information, contact Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental student services coordinator Liz Smith at 334-844-3989 or, or visit

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