I would like to have a farm in the future. A permaculture/polyculture farm. What college degree would best compliment having this type of farm?
I am active duty military and we get money for college while on active duty (not the GI Bill). I have seen so many different degrees which makes it hard to choose which would be most beneficial.
I have seen certificate programs which are great, but I need to be in a bachelor's program that is an ONLINE course.
I have seen degrees in agriculture, soil science, horticulture, crop and soil science, sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, agroecolgy, sustainable food and farming. There are just so many!
A degree which is more science based than business based would be what I would like. Dankeshön
James Freyr wrote:If I could go back in time, I would get a degree in soil biology/science. I'm not sure if accredited universities offer permaculture or gardening degrees.
Thanks James! Soil science is on the top of my list."If I could go back in time" advice is some of the best advice
No, seriously, it teaches you to ask questions, find connections, observe and interact.
I know people with biology, microbiology, soil, agriculture, all sorts of education and they come out of their education without a clue on how to grow peas. My philosophy education taught me to evaluate the meaning of life and to stare into the existential nothingness that is reality long enough to get bored and go play in the garden. I have these highly educated people in horticulture or whatever, tell me all about the one right way to grow things... only their one right way doesn't account for local conditions.
Second choice, veterinary medicine. This gives you a markable skill, even if you don't become a vet, you can use these same skills to care for your farm animals.
Steven Baxter wrote:Ranson, I totally agree with you. Sometimes being educatedd on certain subjects makes you "blind" in some ways.
Perhaps, you could ask what interests you and get that education. ANYTHING you study will help so long as you learn to ask questions and observe the world around you. All education skills are transferable, but if you don't enjoy the subject then you don't learn as much.
Another possible choice would be metal or wood work. There is so much repair to do on the farm, if you can do your own welding or blacksmithing, building, electrical, anything like that, then you are worlds ahead of the game.
I'm glad you brought up the metal work and wood work. My job in the Air Force we do rough carpentry, fine woodworking, welding, sheet metal layout, interior finish, roofing, doors, protective coatings, drop ceilings, masonry and concrete, should I keep going? Haha
This job has provided me with the skills to build my own house. Although I don't do electrical, which would be another skill/certificate I would like to get
What college degree would best compliment having this type of farm?
I'm going to take a different tack on this. In this day and age, I think you would be hard-pressed to learn more from a college instructor about soil science and agronomy than you would from reading Bryant Redhawk's and Joseph Lofthouse's posts. I am dead serious. I have a degree in Biology with heavy emphasis on botany. It was a slightly different type of education in that we expected half of the people to fail the class every year, as a second-year (sophomore) we were using graduate texts in botany and doing tissue culture, and we were expected to be doing granted research as a third year (mine was in YACs- yeast artificial chromosomes). I slept very little, partied very seldom, and worked very very hard.
My degree taught me less than I have learned on here from these volunteer instructors- way less. They have one thing most colleges don't have, which is practical implementation. I think this problem has gotten worse not better since I was in University. It did teach me the language but I seriously think you can do better practically with Botany in a Day and read EVERYTHING some of these mentors have written. I am a critical reader, always trying to find something wrong with stuff, and this is gold. I lose sleep on here, because these guys will save you years in failures. You will still have plenty of failures if you are doing something worthwhile but you will get to the interesting failures faster!
Free advice- worth what you pay for it. Find a degree that lets you have an income in a geographic area that has the attributes you are looking for. I also got a degree in engineering, which I would recommend like Ranson recommended Philosophy. It teaches you to dissect a problem into workable parts. This lets you fix machines, read technical documents, and often is a path to a paying job that lets you build your living situation with lower stress. Pick something you can't learn from the internet or that likely requires a degree/credential. Do not pay for a degree that increases your stress from debt without giving you these attributes- I am distraught at the debt loads students are taking on for degrees- many worthless, without any idea how crushing debt is. Don't chase a name brand school- the people who care generally are useless. The education is for your benefit, to increase your productivity however you view that.