New options for students address industry and community needs

Meg McGuire is studying fermentation, a new option in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and already has plans to apprentice at Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Virginia, after she graduates.

Meg McGuire is studying fermentation, a new option in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and already has plans to apprentice at Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Virginia, after she graduates.

Students in the college now have more academic choices in the departments of food science and technology, horticulture, animal and poultry sciences, and agricultural, leadership, and community education.

Two new study tracks will allow students to explore trending topics in grape growing and fermentation. One is a new minor in viticulture offered by the Department of Horticulture, and the other is an option to study fermentation in the Department of Food Science and Technology. These academic avenues will produce graduates who can address the needs of the established grape growing and wine industries in Virginia, as well as the burgeoning hard cider industries in the commonwealth and worldwide.

Another way Virginia Tech is preparing graduates for the future is through the new companion and lab animal emphasis in animal and poultry sciences. The emphasis allows students who plan to pursue careers where working with companion and lab animals will be a significant part of their research endeavors a chance to gain experience working with them in preparation for professional lives beyond Virginia Tech.

The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education is also offering two additional options. The first option, called teaching and learning in agriculture, leads to work in youth programs or a teaching certificate at the master’s level through a partnership with the School of Education. The second option, community leadership and development, is geared toward those who want to work with people in the agricultural industry.

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