The Morningside University Regina Roth Applied Agriculture and Food Studies Program has grown significantly since its inception in 2015, providing students with more opportunities for unique and hands-on learning.
To expand the program further, the private Sioux City university purchased 76 acres of farmland at auction for about $1.3 million and built a greenhouse and adjacent outdoor classroom for $1.2 million.
The university also recently received $51,500 from Cargill for new equipment. Serving around 90 students a year, the program is one of Morningside’s fastest-growing majors. It offers courses in agriculture and food studies and agriculture education, as well as minors in agriculture communication, agriculture studies, agribusiness, environmental policy, agronomy, and food safety.
The program started in 2015 with just nine students, a conference room in Buhler Rohlfs Hall, and an externship program to place students in the community, said Department Head Tom Paulsen.
At that time, Morningside President John Reynders said the college was uniquely positioned to offer a program of study related to agriculture and food because of its location in one of the world’s major agricultural regions.
“So many students at Morningside come from communities that are anchored in ag-related industries,” Reynders said. “And they grow up with a passion, an understanding, and an appreciation for the value of this industry. Then there is Sioux City’s long history of serving as the regional center for a wide range of companies and businesses devoted to agriculture and related support services.”
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