The Department of Plant Sciences offers Undergraduate Majors and Graduate Programs. A low student-to-faculty ratio gives students numerous opportunities to work closely with faculty mentors, both in and outside the classroom, in relevant research activities that range from laboratory to greenhouse to field research.
Basic and applied research in the plant sciences provides new wealth, economic development, and improved quality of life in the state and the region. Research includes small grains, beans, oilseeds, alternative crops, horticulture, forestry, turfgrass, weed science, cereal and food chemistry, ingredient technology, and wheat, pasta, and malting barley quality. Research results enable producers and businesses to increase crop production, viability, and quality. Researchers are committed to the effective and timely transfer of research-generated knowledge and technology to the agricultural and food industries and the larger scientific and public sectors to benefit the state, the nation and the world.
Extension faculty in Plant Sciences work closely with research scientists at the university and research extension centers to develop multi-disciplinary educational programs. Extension specialists maintain close interaction with scientists and clientele groups to introduce new cultivars, share effective cultural practices, and demonstrate efficient weed control strategies, integrated pest management and improved horticultural practices.
Plant Sciences offices, laboratories and greenhouses are located in modern facilities that include special classrooms and laboratories devoted to subjects such as plant identification, computer-aided class materials, biotechnology and plant growth. The Plant Sciences Learning Center in Loftsgard Hall offers a unique atmosphere for students to work together, learn from one another with assistance from faculty and staff, and participate in hands-on experiences.
Field research takes place in state-of-the-art greenhouses, extensive growth chamber facilities, large field research areas and an 80-acre arboretum. Facilities for cereal science research are located in Harris Hall and include analytical laboratories for grain quality research, baking, milling, malting and brewing, and pasta and noodle processing.