Specialty Crops Management Programs and Curriculum


Award: Diploma
Length: 46 Credits

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The Specialty Crops Management program is designed to provide training in management skills needed to achieve success in the commercial production and sale of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and other specialty crops. The program provides training in subjects beginning with the planning phase of the business on through to the establishment and management of a successful business operation. These include market evaluation, crop selection, market development as well as the production techniques required for successful crop production. Identification of an appropriate marketing strategy, establishment of a sound business plan for the business and managing process of marketing the crop are all included in a comprehensive program. The primary area of emphasis is small fruit production.

Program Requirements: Required Technical Courses: 36 Credits, General Studies Courses: 6 Credits, Electives: 4 Credits

Course Descriptions:

SCMT 1111 Introduction to Specialty Crops Management - This course acquaints students with specific crop enterprise opportunities available to generate income on limited acreage. Emphasis will be placed on establishing family and business goals in the process of selecting enterprises compatible with desired economic and management requirements.(2 Credits)

SCMT 1112 Introduction to Financial Planning and Analysis - This course will introduce the student to the process of financial planning and analysis for the specialty crops business. Emphasis will be placed on establishing an effective recordkeeping system, using information for planning cash flow needs and monitoring the performance of the business through appropriate financial analysis. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1114 Marketing - This course covers the steps involved in determining a profitable marketing strategy. It includes the process of conducting market research to identify marketing choices including produce price determination. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1116 Introduction to Soils and Plant Growth- This course will provide students with an understanding of soil types, their characteristics and how to manage them to achieve desired plant growth. Nutrient management and retention techniques relative to specific soil type and crop growth needs will be covered. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1117 Pest Identification and Control- This course provides a systematic approach to pest control and includes week, insect and disease identification and the use of cultural practices as well as pesticides as a means of control. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1121 Fertilizer Selection, Handling and Application- This course covers the selection and application of fertilizer materials used in the production of specialty crops. Emphasis will be given to special handling requirements of different materials as well as specific timing factors important for various specialty crops. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1124 Irrigation Planning and Management- This course covers the selection, design, and management of irrigation systems appropriate to specialty crops. The unique needs of various specialty crops and soil types will be covered. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1135 Labor, Risk, and Tax Management- This course covers the unique labor, insurance, and tax circumstances that pertain to the business of producing and selling specialty crops.(2 Credits)

SCMT 1245 Post Harvest Handling and Marketing - This course covers the proper handling of flowers from harvest through delivery to market. Emphasis is placed on achieving the proper storage environment and the design and management of the facility to achieve the necessary conditions.(2 Credits)

SCMT 2125 Advertising and Customer Relations - This course covers the use of advertising and methods of achieving good media and customer relations. Emphasis will be placed on the identification of the most effective strategies relevant to specific growers communities. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2127 Advanced Financial Planning and Analysis - This course provides the student with a systematic method to assess specialty crop business enterprise strengths and weaknesses based on information obtained through computerized analysis of specialty crop business accounts. Emphasis will be placed on establishing a framework for interpretation of information from the analysis and utilizing that information for making changes in the specialty crops business plan. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2131 Advanced Soils and Plant Nutrition - This course identifies the nutrient needs in the process of plant growth and the alternative methods of achieving and maintaining desired nutrient levels. Emphasis will be placed on alternative nutrient materials, foliar feeding and problems associated with excessive or deficient levels of individual elements. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2132 Advanced Marketing Strategies - This course provides students with methods of analyzing the impact of alternative crop marketing strategies on farm income. Students will utilize the specialty crop business analysis and customer surveys to evaluate alternative marketing strategies.( 2 Credits)

SCMT 2136 Advanced Pest Identification and Control - This course covers alternative methods of week, insect and disease control. The use of pesticide enhancement agents and cultural practice modifications will be covered. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2300 Computer Applications in Business Management - This course will discuss basic computer literacy, identify commonly used software and demonstrate the uses of commonly used software. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2305 Legal Issues in Business Management - This course is an overview of legal issues affecting ownership, operation and transfer for business operators and managers. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2315 Effective Time Management - This course provides instruction on developing time management skills, converting skills into habits, responding to multiple demands and addressing change. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2320 Family and Business Relationships - This course explores the interaction of family members resulting from challenges during the operation of a family owned business. This will deal with communication and other issues related to multiple family businesses as well as multigenerational businesses. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2330 Business Math Principles - This course applies basic mathematics calculations as they relate to business management. Topics included are: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, decimals, fractions, volumes, area ratios and basic formulas. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2335 Labor Economics and Management - This course studies the economic principles of labor as a business resource, describes supervisory and leadership styles and the efficiency of labor management skills. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2340 Rural Leadership and Communication - This course will improve the students oral, written and electronic communication skills. Basic principles relating to meetings, conduct, letter writing, public speaking, facsimile, e-mail and Internet application use will be addressed. (2 Credits)

SCMT 2234 Value Added Opportunities - This course explores several different opportunities in which specialty crop raw material can be altered to increase market value. (1 Credit)

SCMT 1232 Post Harvest Processing - This course covers the steps involved in the proper handling of specialty crops that will be used for processing. It will present alternative methods for processing selected crops in light of market considerations and product characteristics. (1 Credit)

SCMT 1241 Alternative Crop Systems - This course covers alternative crops and management systems. Emphasis is placed on an integrated system of practices that are complementary throughout the business matching marketing factors with production methods. Consideration is given to sustainable management practices and financial projections for selected crops and production systems. (2 Credits)

SCMT 1243 Special Topics - Cultural Problems - This course covers the production practices necessary for the successful production of specialty crops. Emphasis is placed on understanding the physiology of plant growth, identifying cultural problems, and determining the best course of action to treat the problems. (2 Credits)