The former Mindanao Institute of Technology, now the University of Southern Mindanao, was established in 1952 and started to offer the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in 1954 – 1955. In 1959, the late President Dominador D. Clemente approved the establishment of the Department of Agricultural Education with the late Prof. Crisostomo M. Marasigan as its first head.
In 1976, the department became the College of Agriculture (CA) two years before the Mindanao Institute of Technology was converted into the University of Southern Mindanao on March 13, 1978. At present, the CA offers three BS degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA), Bachelor of Science in Farming Systems (BSF) and Bachelor of Practical Agriculture (BPA). It is composed of 11 departments, namely; Department of Agricultural Extension, Agronomy, Animal Science, Entomology, Farming Systems, Horticulture, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Fisheries, and General Agriculture and Practical Agriculture.
The College is manned by the College Dean and assisted by 11 Department Chairpersons, 28 College Coordinators and five (5) support personnel in the implementation of its vision / mission, goals and objectives.
The College of Agriculture as the mother unit gave birth to the creation of other colleges: College of Engineering now College of Engineering and Information Technology from its Department of Agricultural Engineering; College of Business Development Economics and Management from its Department of Agricultural Economics; and the College of Veterinary Medicine from its Department of Veterinary Medicine.
On its journey towards attaining and maintaining a culture of academic excellence and relevance in tertiary education, the CA had been led by brilliant men and women at its helm, to wit: Prof. Crisostomo M. Marasigan, Drs. Kadil P. Sinolinding, Anacleto M. Pedrosa Jr., Kundo E. Pahm, Virgilio G. Oliva, Teofilo C. dela Cruz, Pio A. Elevazo, Eugenio A. Alcala, Abraham G. Castillo, Naomi G. Tangonan, Ariston D. Calvo, Nicolas A. Turnos, Edna M. Jover, Conrado C. Evangelista, Adeflor G. Garcia, Purificacion O. Cahatian, Conrado C. Evangelista and Josephine Rabanal-Migalbin, the current dean.
The College was accredited by AACCUP with Level 1 status on November 18, 1996, Level II on September 23, 1998, Level II Reaccredited Status on November 21, 2001, and Level III, Phase I on November 29, 2006 and Phase II in January 2007. Level IV Phase I on April 2017 and Phase II on May 2018. In addition, the college was also 9001:2008 Certified last Januaru 2017 and ISO 9001:2015 Certified on July 2008.
In 1997, the College was also designated in 1997 as the Nodal Center for the Mindanao Advanced Education Programs (MAEP) in Agriculture and as one of the six Centers of Excellence (COE) in Agriculture Education throughout the country by CHED in February 1999; Center of Development (COD) on February 27, 2209 until February 27, 2012 and regained its glory as COE effective January 1, 2016 to date.
The College of Agriculture assumes a prime role in pursuing a culture of excellence in agricultural instruction, research, extension and production activities. It endeavors to train morally upright men and women who will be leaders in various fields of agricultural education, science and technology.
The general objective of the College of Agriculture is to produce graduates who are locally and globally competitive; develop or train manpower resources who will provide moral leadership in the socio – economic and agri–industrial development of Southern Philippines, in support of national development endeavors.
Specifically, the CA aims to:
- Produce graduates who are:
- Well – trained and skilled in the production and management of all kinds of crops (cereals, legumes, fruits, plantation vegetables, ornamentals, etc.) as well as animal industry
- Competent agricultural extensionist
- Experts in the management of insect pests, diseases, weeds and farming systems
- Skilled in plant breeding and tissue culture
- Equipped with computer skills
- Proficient in soil analysis and management
- Proficient in communication skills
- Equipped with excellent entrepreneurial capabilities
- Adopt a culture of academic excellence in agricultural sciences and other related fields through active participation of faculty members and students in conducting basic and applied researches; and
- Participate actively in the extension of developed technologies to target clienteles through trainings, workshops and seminars.
The BS in Agriculture (BSA) program aims to train the students for the scientific practice of thought and to prepare them to become professionals with entry level competencies in technical and hands-on agriculture. The program emphasizes the processes and techniques of identifying, diagnosing, and analyzing problems and in designing, packaging, and applying technologies needed in the development and conservation of the agriculture and food system resources.
In USM, the BS in Agriculture has the following Major and Specializations:
- Agricultural Extension
- Animal Science
- Plant Breeding and Genetics
- Plant Pathology
- Soil Science
- Organic Agriculture
The BS Fisheries program is a four-year course program that aims to provide the students with academic discipline of managing and understanding fisheries. It is a multidisciplinary science, which draws on the disciplines of aquaculture including breeding, genetics, biotechnology, nutrition, farming, diagnosis of diseases in fishes, other aquatic resources, medical treatment of aquatic animals; fish processing including curing, canning, freezing, value addition, byproducts and waste utilization, quality assurance and certification, fisheries microbiology, fisheries biochemistry; fisheries resource management including biology, anatomy, taxonomy, physiology, population dynamics; fisheries environment including oceanography, limnology, ecology, biodiversity, aquatic pollution; fishing technology including gear and craft engineering, navigation and seamanship, marine engines; fisheries economics and management and fisheries extension.