University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
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Horticultural Food Systems

Develop a strong foundation in plant sciences with special emphasis in horticultural fruit and vegetable crop systems in urban and local food systems.

Horticultural Food Systems
  • Education topics include: plant sciences, fruit and vegetable production, soils, urban agriculture, and plant nutrition.
  • Students are encouraged to study abroad with our HORT 298 course, which focuses on horticultural production abroad.
  • Students are prepared for graduate studies leading to careers in research, extension, and education.
  • Graduates pursue careers as entrepreneurs in urban and local food systems, greenhouse or farm managers, crop consultants, crop production specialists, and horticultural educators.

See current requirements

Questions about this concentration can be directed to

Dr. Fred Kolb
Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator
AE-120 B Turner Hall
(217) 333-4256

Career Opportunity Spotlight

Greenhouse Production Manager at Living Water Farms

Tess Zehr

Tess’s job is the perfect combination of work and play. She doesn’t only sit in her office all day, but also gets down and dirty in the greenhouse.

“I enjoy that my job is not just office work, and it's also not just hands-on production work that doesn't require a lot of brain power. It's been a great combination: challenging me to think, but allowing me to go out in the greenhouse and get my hands dirty at the same time.”

She has realized that there is always more to learn in her profession.

“College is learning how to learn; -- how to find solutions to challenges rather than knowing all the answers. For my position, flexibility and the willingness to keep learning are necessary. Those are qualities I have started developing in the last couple of years, but I still have to work on bettering them every day.”

Tess credits her time at Illinois with instilling strong communication skills essential in the workforce.

“My college experience did a lot in helping me develop communication skills. I have found they are necessary in my job, whether I am communicating with my supervisors, the employees under me, or suppliers and customers.”

College of ACES does a wonderful job of promoting and teaching agriculture in a wide variety, Tess says.

“Illinois has a wonderful ag program that provides opportunities for learning in almost any area, through both classes and hands-on experience. There are very mixed opinions of agriculture in our world today, and U of I does a great job in providing accurate concepts of how American agriculture operates and how today’s students, as the future of agriculture, can properly immerse themselves in it.”

CPSC Opportunities

Imagine where ACES can take you!