Specialty Crops Management Diploma

Specialty Crops Management Diploma

Career Description

Students enrolled in the Specialty Crops Management Diploma program include people who want to make their living growing and selling fruits and vegetables, as well as those who want to supplement their income. Roughly one third of the students in the program are supplementing their retirement income. Demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables is increasing rapidly. There is a good future for small acreage landowners who want to earn money by growing fruits and vegetables.

Program Information

Education for the Specialty Crops Management program is primarily delivered at the business of the student. This individualized instruction allows the instructor to design an educational program that specifically addresses the student’s needs and can be delivered at the most appropriate time. Education is also delivered through annual meetings, where students are able to meet each other and through monthly newsletters, phone calls, and personal e-mails.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Develop business and personal goals;
  • Evaluate the agronomic needs of the farm operation;
  • Utilize financial analysis to determine market channel opportunities; and
  • Implement appropriate types of risk management for the farm operation.

Special Program Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  • College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  • College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  • Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.


The program is open to any fruit or vegetable grower in the state of Minnesota who wants to participate in the program.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

Salary information from indeed.com

Program Course Requirements

Required Discipline Courses
SCMT 1110 System Goal Setting, 1 cr
SCMT 1111 Introduction to Specialty Crops, 2 cr
SCMT 1112 Intro to Financial Planning Analysis, 2 cr
SCMT 1114 Marketing of Specialty Crops, 2 cr
SCMT 1116 Introduction to Soils and Plant Growth, 2 cr
SCMT 1117 Pest Identification and Control, 2 cr
SCMT 1119 Pesticide Safety and Handling, 2 cr
SCMT 1121 Fertilizer Selection, Handling Application, 2 cr
SCMT 1124 Irrigation Planning and Management, 2 cr
SCMT 1135 Labor, Risk and Tax Management, 2 cr
SCMT 2125 Advertising and Customer Relations, 2 cr
SCMT 2127 Advanced Financial Planning & Analysis, 2 cr
SCMT 2131 Advanced Soils and Plant Nutrition, 2 cr
SCMT 2132 Advanced Marketing Strategies, 2 cr
SCMT 2136 Advanced Pest Identification & Control, 2 cr
SCMT 2000 Special Topics in Soil Management, 1 cr
SCMT 2200 Current Issues in Specialty Crop Marketing, 1 cr
SCMT 2334 Value Added Opportunities for Specialty Crops, 1 cr

Students must select an additional 12 credits from the following SCMT courses:

SCMT 1100 Farm Business Basics, 1-4 cr
SCMT 1105 Beginning Vegetable Production, 1-4 cr
SCMT 1232 Post Harvest Processing of Specialty Crops, 1 cr
SCMT 1241 Alternative Crop Systems, 2 cr
SCMT 1243 Cultural Practices for Specialty Crops, 2 cr
SCMT 2305 Legal Issues for Specialty Crop Growers, 2 cr
SCMT 2320 Family and Business Relationships, 2 cr
SCMT 2325 Tree Fruit Production Basics, 2 cr
SCMT 2327 Orchard Planning, 2 cr
SCMT 2329 Orchard Training and Pruning, 2 cr
SCMT 2330 Business Math for Specialty Crop Producers, 2 cr
SCMT 2335 Labor Economics and Management, 2 cr
SCMT 2350 Small Fruit Production Basics, 2 cr
SCMT 2360 Planning for Vegetable Production, 2 cr
SCMT 2363 Vegetable Diseases, 2 cr
SCMT 2400 Special Topics-Business Plans, 1-4 cr
SCMT 2500 Special Topics-Cultural Practices, 1-4 cr


Program Instructors

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