Welcome to the Department of Plant Agriculture
Our unique name reflects a heritage that dates back to 1874 with the founding Departments
of Horticulture and Agriculture in the Ontario Agricultural College and the establishment of the Horticultural Research of Ontario in 1906. Our activities are strongly rooted in crop science and horticultural science but we now encompass applied bioinformatics; molecular genetics; genomics; field horticultural and greenhouse crops; plant breeding; turf and grassland studies; environmental sustainability; and the use of biomaterials for food, health products, fibres and industrial products.
Our goal is to be the Department that redefines plant agriculture by taking it to new
frontiers in science and society. We strive to improve life through innovative science and teaching.
The Department has annual expenditures over $ 9 million and includes 36 faculty, 39 permanent staff, 60 contract staff, and over 100 graduate students. We conduct field research on a broad range of plant species in stations at: Guelph (Guelph Turfgrass Institute, Arkell Research Station); Elora; Kettleby (Muck Crops Research Station); Simcoe; Vineland; Woodstock and Ridgetown.
Our M.Sc. and Ph.D. students are engaged in three areas: Plant Genetics and Breeding, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, and Crop Production Systems. The research is conducted in a diverse array of field, greenhouse and laboratory facilities including our novel Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre. Our internationally recognized faculty, research scientists and adjunct faculty welcome inquires and applications from prospective graduate students. Be sure to check our graduate opportunities for both Future and Current in-course students.
The department is responsible for three undergraduate majors: Plant Science in the Bachelor of Science, and Crop, Horticultural and Turfgrass Sciences (CHATS) and Organic Agriculture in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.
The Plant Science major gives students a thorough background in how plants grow at the molecular, cellular and whole plant levels, with areas of emphasis in Applied Plant Science (including horticultural and crop production), Botany, Plant Biotechnology, or Plant Environmental Sciences.
The Crop, Horticultural and Turfgrass Sciences major gives students a thorough background in agricultural systems, with specialized courses in Agronomy, Horticulture and Turfgrass.
The Organic Agriculture major offers students an integrated approach to learning in the rapidly expanding world of organic agriculture. Courses encompass food production, food security, processing and marketing, environmental health, and rural community sustainability. A systems approach is taken to the design and operation of crop and livestock production systems that are socially responsible, ecologically sound, agronomically feasible, and economically sustainable.
The department offers hands-on-learning in the Associate Diploma in Turfgrass Management. The two year diploma in prepares students for a variety of career opportunities including golf course management, lawn care, sports field management, parks management, sod production and related supply and service businesses.
The various degrees and associate diploma prepare graduates for a wide variety of exciting and challenging careers in food production, horticultural production, agricultural service industries, environmental management and research.
We are actively involved in knowledge transfer and work closely with affiliated professionals, located with us (from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), to bring relevant information to Ontario farming communities. Our faculty and staff are also engaged in transferring technology to agricultural businesses. We release novel germplasm and licensed plant varieties for commercialization in more than 10 crops.
Thank you for visiting our webpage and please contact us for further information about our academic programs, research or technology.K. Peter Pauls