Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship Being Offered at Potomac State College

West Virginia University Potomac State College (PSC) now offers a bachelor of applied science degree (B.A.S.) in sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship, simply referred to as SAGE.  The four-year SAGE degree allows students to customize their own program, whether it’s starting a business producing specialty crops and meats, working with forestry products, or equine therapy specialization.

 “This is an exciting time for students seeking a career in the field of agriculture.  Now more than ever, their knowledge base needs to be more diversified than those of previous generations.
Hanna Dickson, who’s enrolled in West Virginia University Potomac State College’s four-year sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship (SAGE) program, checks on bees at the campus greenhouse.  The bees are used to pollinate watermelons that Dickson helped plant earlier this summer.
  The modern agricultural worker needs to have some degree of expertise in natural resources, the environment, food, business management, and communications in order to be successful,” stated PSC Academic Dean Gregory Ochoa, Ph.D. 

The SAGE major is designed to facilitate student development in technical production skills with sound business practices.  By combining business courses with agriculture courses, students will have a business plan in-hand at the time of their graduation which they can turn into ownership of an ag-related business.

Potomac State College graduate, Hannah Dickson, who completed duel associate degrees in equine production and management, and in animal science, is currently enrolled in the four-year SAGE program.

“I’ve always wanted to run my own horse breeding and training facility; and after talking with some of my professors, they encouraged me to enroll in SAGE as a way of helping me realize my dream,” said Dickson. 

Along with sustainable agriculture, the agriculture tourism boom is on the rise with movements like: farm to table; pick your own fruits and vegetables; dude ranches; and winery/microbrewery tours to name a few.  Even Potomac State College, which is located in an agricultural belt, uses locally sourced foods whenever possible.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, employment of agriculture and food-science technicians is projected to grow five percent from 2014 to 2024, which translates to more than 60,000 jobs in food, agriculture and renewable natural resources opening each year for the next five years.  

“Advances in technology and scientific knowledge related to food production will require a greater control of production and processing activities; thereby, increasing demands for these workers,” stated Donna Ballard, Ph.D., who serves as an associate professor of agriculture at the College.

For more information about the SAGE degrees call Enrollment Services at 304.788.6820 or 800.262.7332 or email