Urbanization, industrialization and population growth demand effective management of land and water resources for multiple uses. This curriculum prepares students for conservation and management of soil and water resources for the long-range benefit of society. Requirements include a strong background in physical and biological sciences, ecology and management to provide understanding of the physical, chemical and biological interrelationships of soil, water and plants. Elective courses provide an opportunity for emphasis in areas of particular interest such as ecology, communications, agriculture, economics, political science, and others. Employment opportunities are available with federal agencies such as Natural Resources Conservation Service and Bureau of Land Management; governmental units including state, county and municipal agencies; planning and economic development districts; businesses in the agricultural industry, such as fertilizer and chemical companies; public utility companies; and private industry, including banks, financial institutions and real estate agencies.
Urbanization, industrial growth and population growth are placing increased demands on our land and water resources. To provide food and shelter for future generations, many professionals trained to manage soil, water and other natural resources are needed. The future food supply must come from a declining land, energy and labor base, scientific principles and technology to protect and sustain our natural resources will become increasingly important. The soil and water conservation curriculum prepares students for conservation and management of soil and water resources for the long range benefit of society. Requirements include a strong background in physical, chemical and biological relationship of soil, water and plants.
Supervised field experience, or an internship, is available for academic credit. It is required of all students in park and recreation administration, agricultural business, agricultural science production and plant science programs, and strongly encouraged for students in all other agricultural and natural resources management degree programs. Internships are designed to enable a student to obtain credit for completion of a prescribed program of work with an approved business or agency. Students have served as interns in a variety of agricultural management and marketing positions and as interns with a variety of city, state and federal agencies. Supervision and evaluation are provided by faculty and on- the-job supervisors. An essential element of this program is that the work & experience be designed so it contributes to a student’s learning and level of competence in his/her chosen career area; routine summer jobs or seasonal employment that do not meet these criteria cannot be considered for internship credit. Students interested in the program should apply for participation one semester in advance and they should have achieved senior standing at the time the work experience begins in the case of park and recreation administration – and junior standing in the case of other concentration areas.
Many excellent opportunities for employment are available for graduates of the soil and water conservation curriculum. Employment opportunities are available with federal agencies such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Bureau of Land Management; other government units, including state, county and municipal agencies; planning and economic development districts; business in the
agricultural industry such as fertilizer, chemical, forest products and pollution control firms; public utility companies; and private industries including banks, financial institutions and real estate agencies. The local soil conservationist, soil scientist, land manager, etc., is most likely trained in this field.
Agriculture and natural resources management students are active in several organizations which include the Agronomy Club, Alpha Gamma Rho, Block and Bridle Club, Collegiate FFA, Collegiate 4-H, National Agribusiness Marketing Association, Park and Recreation Adventure Club, Equestrian Team (Athletics), Rodeo Team (Athletics), UT Martin chapter of the Wildlife Society, Student Cattlemen’s Association, UT Martin Turf Club, Sigma Alpha and UT Martin Pre-Veterinary Club. These student organizations provide opportunities for meeting established professionals in the field, enhancing leadership skills and participation in social activities. Teams composed of students enrolled in agriculture or natural resources management annually participate in intercollegiate contests in livestock judging, crops judging, horse judging, NAMA Quiz Bowl, SAEA Quiz Bowl and soil judging. Instruction and coaching are provided by faculty members and membership on the team is based upon participation and competitive performance in practice exercises. The teams have received awards
in regional and national competition. They provide excellent opportunities for interested students to sharpen their evaluation skills. Equestrian competition is also available to interested students through the UT Martin athletics program.
The UT Martin Agricultural and Natural Resources Field Teaching and Demonstration Complex, located adjacent to the campus, is utilized as ; the lab farm in the department’s teaching programs. Together, both units comprise 680 acres and include herds of beef cattle, sheep, goats, horses and swine, as well as greenhouses and landscape, wildlife, field and forage crop demonstration areas. These facilities are used by faculty and students to conduct research that complements the teaching program as well as contributes to the broad objectives of the Center of Excellence. The organization outlined above enables students to become familiar with research conducted at the teaching farm, other experiment stations of the UT Institute of Agriculture and other laboratories of the university. UT Martin, in this way, occupies a unique position that differentiates it from other institutions. UT Martin also has the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex (pavilion and stalling facility), an Equine Center, West Tennessee Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the Ray and Wilma Smith Livestock Merchandising Center, with all of these hosting a variety of events throughout the year.
Dr. Paula Gale (firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in wetlands management and on- farm composting research. Dr. Gale also advises and coaches the award winning university soils judging team.