Guest writer: Chase

Pursuing a degree in agribusiness at Southeast Missouri State University has several unique advantages when compared to other universities. One of the main reasons I chose SEMO is its advantageous agribusiness program. Not only does every student receive business training with classes from our agribusiness core, we also get to choose an emphasis to focus on for the rest of our major classes. Our majors include agribusiness: animal science, agribusiness: plant and soil science, agribusiness: horticulture, pre-veterinary medicine, agribusiness: agricultural education, agribusiness: agriculture communications, agribusiness: agriculture systems management, and agribusiness: agriculture industry.

 Cows stare at the camera in front of a red barn

I had a special idea for my undergrad; I was interested in integrated cropping and livestock systems which fell between both the areas of animal science and plant and soil science. Because of this, I decided to choose agriculture industry as my major. This is an option for both transfer students and new students with particular goals to customize their major to meet their specific requirements with the help of an academic advisor. In this major, SEMO allowed me to take classes related to agronomy and soil science along with classes about beef cattle and their management, all on top of the business courses my agribusiness core offered me. The flexibility of this major to choose classes based on my specific needs was a great alternative compared to the rigid degree programs other schools offered. What SEMO allowed me to take in one major would have required a double major/minor combination at another university.

Another reason to pursue a degree at SEMO is that the faculty and staff are like a family. In our department, everybody knows everybody else, faculty and students alike. No one is afraid to walk into the agriculture office and ask for help or ask for a professor’s assistance after class. Here, you don’t seem to get lost in the crowd like you would at a larger institution. I was able to take part in research with one of my major professors in cover crops and present our findings at a student research conference with two of my peers. This experience has opened the door for many graduate school opportunities. I believe the community-feel to our department, as well as the ability to coordinate effortlessly between professors, led me to explore opportunities (like my research project) that might not have caught my attention at a larger school. Why be lost in a big crowd when you can shine in a smaller one?

I know you’re probably often pressured to attend large universities to pursue your degree under the guise that “bigger is better,” but I feel confident in my education and experiences from my smaller school. Not to mention, the smaller tuition bill helped make my decision easier. Learn more about majoring in agriculture at SEMO.