The Department of Community Sustainability offers a Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education. The bachelor’s degree program is designed to prepare students for careers as school-based agriculture, food and natural resources teachers at the secondary level, careers in agricultural and natural resource education fields, or professional or graduate school program.
Students in the AFNRE program who wish to become secondary school teachers must also apply for the Secondary Education Teacher Preparation Program in the Department of Teacher Education, College of Education. Graduates of the AFNRE program who have also completed the Secondary Education Teacher Preparation program will be prepared to enter a fifth-year professional teaching internship. After completing the internship and additional courses in the Secondary Education Teacher Preparation program they will be eligible to apply for provisional teacher certification. Those majors who are not admitted into the Secondary Education Teacher Preparation program will have a broad technical background grounded with a social science foundation preparing them for a variety of careers within government, private industry, non-profit organizations, public relations and communications, or to enter a professional or graduate school program upon completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Due to changes in recent years, careers in agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) offer some of the most abundant opportunities for Michigan’s future workforce. More than ever, several complex issues exist for agriculture and natural resources. The U.S. Department of Education aims to incorporate green- and sustainability-related knowledge and skills standards into the existing National Career Clusters including AFNR. Food safety issues such as national outbreaks of E. coli, concerns over food quality, transportation costs, climate change, and renewed focus on health benefits of fresh produce have led to a greater interest by the public in local and organic food systems. Wildlife-livestock disease issues such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) relate to public health concerns and create new avenues for study. Finally, Michigan’s agricultural lands and natural resources are vital to the economy through agritourism and natural resources-based enterprises. Sustaining these lands affects overall community well being. MSU’s teacher preparation program in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education is unique in the country, with its focus on AFNR sustainability for the benefit of communities in Michigan, the U.S. and the world.