Corban Univ.’s Inaugural Agriculture Science Program Commences, Environmentally-Savvy Class

Corban University, a highly respected, private Christian university in the heart of Oregon’s farmland, is thrilled to begin its inaugural agriculture science degree program with a full class of 16 talented, diverse students from across the Pacific Northwest and as far away as Cambodia. Combining a hands-on educational approach with curriculum covering both traditional ag learning and advanced technology, Corban is planting a seed in tomorrow’s growers toward smarter sustainability, wiser water use, and expert soil and crop management.  

“As we see students becoming more globally- and environmentally-savvy, we developed our ag science program to delve into more of the environmental, agricultural, and biological sciences and focus on sustainability versus strictly commercial or industrial production,” said Dr. Susie Nelson, Director of Corban’s Agriculture Science Program. “Our goal is to educate students holistically, so they’ll make a true impact locally and globally. We’re equipping them to branch out and innovate toward meeting the world’s increasing need for food in an ethical, honorable, sustainable, and beneficial way.”

Corban University’s inaugural Agriculture Science class from left to right: Trevor Wurster, Daniel Chey, Anne Gaskill, Hannah Kruse, Wes Vasquez Lopez, David Chavez, Michell Trautman, Riley Sinn, Isabel D’Acquisto, Kylee Tarabochia, Lodi Halverson, Lena Tribbett, Jenny McKinnon, Leah Twede. Not pictured: Judah Koehler and Sven Lukner. Photo courtesy of Corban University.

Corban is unique: As the only Christian ag science program in the Pacific Northwest, one major imperative is cultivating students who care deeply about preserving the environment and feeding our communities. This program’s varied student body—interested in plant and soil sciences, aquaponics, agriculture and crops, horticulture and greenhouse management, veterinary and genetics-related studies, ranch management and more—necessitated a varied curriculum and deep, local collaboration.

“We value our partnership with Corban and are excited to offer students industry knowledge and connections within agriculture,” said Mark Hurst, owner Hurst Family Berries LLC. As such, unlike large universities, Corban students benefit from small classes, more one-on-one interaction with professors, and a strong sense of community and support in a semi-rural setting.

Further, by layering agricultural opportunities atop strong spiritual formation, Nelson and her team developed an immersive, far-reaching approach that capitalizes on Corban’s ag-rich location and partnerships with local farms and institutions. Preparing students to discover lasting solutions to pressing issues, Corban’s program covers every aspect of Oregon’s eight distinct growing regions, which play a prominent role in some of the nation’s largest agriculture industries. Educational opportunities include:

·       Animal Science visits and local farm learning;

·       Firsthand experience from longtime local growers;

·       Future Farmer of America (FFA) Partnerships; 

·       FFA Alumni Chapter, which serves Oregon’s local FFA chapters and offers participation in statewide service projects; and 

·       Various internships. 

Corban faculty and staff have consulted with industry experts to design, build, and equip an outstanding, meaningful program that prepares graduates to experience lifelong growth. With a purposeful focus on the future, Corban aims to impact the students who will impact the world.


Butch Whitaker, Oregon Prime Beef, provides hands on learning for Corban University agriculture science program Freshman, Isabel D’Acquisto, during an Introduction to Animal Science course. Photo courtesy of Corban University.

ABOUT CORBAN: Corban is a private Christian university, founded in 1935, with a storied history of educating students who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. Situated on a beautiful, forested hillside overlooking Oregon’s capital, Corban is only an hour from the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon coast. Offering academic excellence at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, and online, Corban prepares students for careers as business leaders, educators, medical professionals, politicians, ministry leaders, and more. Expert faculty, a tight-knit community, and opportunities for local and global engagement provide for students’ growth both in and beyond the classroom.