Crop and Soil Sciences

Crop and Soil Sciences

Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences


Dr. James Crum
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-355-0271, ext. 1134

Dr. Karen Renner
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-355-0271, ext. 1233

Agronomy is the science and technology of using plants for food, fuel, feed and fiber production. Agronomists improve crop production in sustainable systems all over the world while protecting our soil and water resources.

Our students are interested in improving the production and management of a diversity of crops, the soils and the environment. Agronomists work to improve food, fuel and fiber production in sustainable systems while protecting the environment. Agronomists provide technical support to crop producers all over the world.

Turfgrass is everywhere — in your home lawn, across your town, on intramural sports fields, in Spartan stadium and at the many golf courses throughout our state. Turfgrass graduates work in the golf industry, in sports field management, in professional lawn care businesses and in sod production. Turfgrass professionals work to meet the needs of industries that rely on turf.

Agronomic Science students are from both rural and urban areas. Our graduates pursue careers in biotechnology, plant breeding and genetics, sustainable crop production, natural resources and soil conservation, and integrated pest management. You’ll find agronomists working for private companies, at colleges and universities, for the USDA and other government agencies, and as private consultants for crop producers all over the world. If you enjoy working with people, like the outdoors or the laboratory, and are interested in a career that applies biology, ecology and physical sciences in building a sustainable future, check out  an agronomy specialization.

Our turfgrass graduates have career opportunities internationally and in every state in the country. Michigan State University turfgrass professionals designed and grew the soccer fields for the last two summer Olympic games. Turfgrass Management is a great career choice if you enjoy being outdoors when the grass is green, and if you like working with others to improve the performance of turfgrass.

To see courses required by this major, visit the Crop and Soil Sciences major listing in the MSU course catalog

Career Opportunities
Agribusiness Manager
Certified Crop Adviser
Crop Consultant
Extension Educator
Farm Manager
Michigan Certified Seed
Michigan Department of Agriculture
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Research Technician with Private Industry or a University
Soil Conservationist with NRCS
Soil Scientist with NRCS
Salesperson: Seed, Fertilizer, Crop Protection Chemicals
Assistant Golf Course Superintendent
Sports Field Managers:
• Professional
• Collegiate
• High Schools
• Municipalities
Professional Lawn Care Businesses
Sod Production Farms