Horticulture

Horticulture is an exciting segment of agriculture that is growing ever more popular in the global economy. Horticultural Science uses all the tools of modern science to investigate the complex growth and developmental responses of horticultural crops and to develop solutions for problems confronting the horticulture industry. Oklahoma is conducive to the production and use of a wide variety of horticultural crops and services.
Graduates with a degree in Horticulture enter a broad range of challenging and rewarding professional careers in production, management, marketing, education and research. Graduates often open their business enterprises such as fruit or vegetable production, landscape design/build and maintenance companies, nurseries, greenhouses, and garden centers.

Career Opportunities

Production and sales – Operating a business or managing an orchard, vegetable farm, greenhouse, flower or plant shop, nursery, landscaping service, garden center or food processing firm.

Public Gardens – Managing landscapes and plant collections in public gardens and conservatories. This offers the person interested in both plants and people the best of both worlds.
Marketing Being involved in the wholesale or retail sale of fresh or processed fruits and vegetables, seeds, cut flowers, house plants, floral arrangements, or nursery stock. Being a buyer of these items for a chain store, a government or private institution or wholesale distributor.

Research – Seeking ways to improve the yield and quality of fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants and developing methods for handling, storing and marketing these crops. Specializing in plant breeding, plant nutrition, plant growth regulation, or other fascinating areas of plant research.

Teaching – Opening the world of plant growing to people of all ages and presenting new ideas to those already wise to the ways of plants are rewarding experiences. The U.S. needs qualified teachers of horticulture in high schools, technical schools, and universities. County extension agents and extension specialists often teach horticulture to adults and children.

Industry Support – Includes consulting or doing research, development, technical services or sales. Canning and freezing companies, seed firms and manufacturers of fertilizers, spray materials and farm equipment need personnel with horticultural training to perform a wide variety of tasks in research, development, technical service and sales.

Inspection – Graduates can choose to become inspectors of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables for government or private agencies. Helping to maintain a high level of quality and uniformity in the produce industry.

Landscape Construction and Management – Installing residential and commercial landscape projects as a landscape contractor. This includes interpretation of blueprints, estimating and bidding, sales, and installation of plant material and hardscapes (patios, sidewalks, walls, arbors, etc). Career opportunities also exist to maintain these sites.

Landscape Design – Creating gardens with combinations of plant material and hardscapes. Knowing the appropriate plants to use to achieve the desired aesthetic effect and possessing enough knowledge of soil science and plant physiology to know what plants are suited to the conditions present on a particular site.

Communications – Writing for farm and garden magazines, newspapers, television and radio can be a rewarding field for men and women trained in horticulture.
Pest Management – Working with state and federal regulatory agencies, agricultural suppliers, processing corporations, large farm organizations, and as agricultural agents.
Turf management – Lawn Care Service; Golf Course management; Athletic field management.

Urban Horticulture – Zoo or city government horticulturists, parks and recreation management, city green planner.
Specialties – Public and private garden curators, organic vegetable production, fruit and orchard production, farmer, hobbyist.