Program Description

The Crop Science program at Merced College is designed to meet the need for trained personnel in a broad range of occupational opportunities involved with or related to producing crops. Programs can be arranged in any of the following ways:

  • As an Enrichment Program for the land and homeowner, farm employees, and those interested in forage crops, vegetable crops, and agronomic crops.
  • Certificate of Completion Program - a program in which all course work is directly related to gaining employment.
  • Associate Degree Program - advanced cover skills are developed along with general education.
  • Transfer Program - formal education is continued at an advanced level in a four-year college or university.

Degrees/Certificates

Merced College offers the following degrees/certificates in Crop Science:

  • Crop Science (AA)
  • Crop Science (AS)
  • Crop Science (CT)

See Degree Requirements & Course Descriptions

The Merced College Crop Science Program maintains 240 acres of cropland which serve as a laboratory for students. Equipment and methods used in the program are of the latest type and follow current trends and practices in crop-oriented production areas. Students take an active part in the farming operations by planning individual as well as group projects. The student not only gains the theoretical knowledge associated with production, but also experiences a hands-on practical application. Student projects entail production on parcels of land, involving the growing, harvesting, processing, marketing, and management of the crops grown.

Students of the Merced College Agriculture Division are raising a wide variety of crops including alfalfa, wheat, barley, cotton, oats, almonds, and pasture. The operation also includes the raising of seed stock crops such as carrots, onions, bell peppers, squash, cucumber, watermelons, and cantaloupes, exposing the student to a diverse cross section of Crop Science.

Career Opportunities

Students interested in a career related to the production or management of our society's agricultural yield would do well to begin with formal training in Crop Science at Merced College.

As our population with its related need for food increases, so does the demand for Crop Science majors. According to Agriculture Department officials, starting salaries are at an all-time high and will remain so for the next decade.

Only 2 out of 10 Crop Science graduates are involved with the actual production end of Crop Science. They work as:

  • self-employed farmers, or
  • in the farming, ranching, or dairy environment.

The remaining 8 out of 10  find positions in crop-related occupations such as:

  • crop processing and marketing,
  • commodity sales,
  • agriculture chemical sales,
  • irrigation district,
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, and
  • banking and corporate holdings in Agriculture Management.

These jobs are open to people from both urban and rural areas who have gathered their expertise through education in Crop Science.

Crop Science Faculty

Name Position Email/Phone
Steve Bell, Ed.D. Professor of Plant Science bell.s@mccd.edu, (209) 384-6251
Scott Stoddard Adjunct Professor scott.stoddard@mccd.edu  (209) 384-6250 (message)
Matthew Terra  Adjunct Professor matthew.terra@mccd.edu  (209) 384-6250 (message)