Organic and Urban Farming, often called "Sustainable Agriculture" has become a fast growing track for students who have a passion for ecology, business, health, and sustainability. The job outlook for agriculture grads has never been better. As technology enables farming to move to urban areas, and the public appetite for healthy food has grown, a whole new sector of the economy has been introduced. Many State Universities as well as Liberal Arts Colleges offer Majors in this area. If you want to take an abandonded city lot and turn it into a profitable community garden, THIS is the major for you!
Organic Farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes. Urban Agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town, or city Organic farming methods are studied in the field of agro-ecology. While conventional agriculture uses synthetic pesticides and water-soluble synthetically purified fertilizers, organic farmers are restricted by regulations to using natural pesticides and fertilizers. The principal methods of organic farming include crop rotation, green manures and compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation. These measures use the natural environment to enhance agricultural productivity. Vegetables are planted to fix nitrogen into the soil, natural insect predators are encouraged, crops are rotated to confuse pests and renew soil, and natural materials such as potassium bicarbonate and mulches are used to control disease and weeds. Hardier plants are generated through plant breeding rather than genetic engineering. Urban Farming is generally practiced for income-earning or food-producing activities, though in some communities the main impetus is recreation and relaxation. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety in two ways: first, it increases the amount of food available to people living in cities, and second, it allows fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat products to be made available to urban consumers. It decreases food deserts. A common and efficient form of urban agriculture is the bio- intensive method. Because urban agriculture promotes energy-saving local food production, urban and peri-urban agriculture are generally seen as sustainable agriculture.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/agricultural-and-food-scientists.htm