Horticulture Systems Major

Did you know environmental horticulture is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation's agricultural economy? This multi-billion dollar industry is responsible for almost 2 million jobs in landscape design, installation and maintenance, greenhouse production and management, retail nursery management, floral design, city and park management, garden center management, and turf management.

Horticulture has been taught at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis for over 30 years and has been a major research focus at the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte since the 1940s. NCTA continues this strong tradition by serving the horticulture education needs of western Nebraska.

The Horticulture Systems Major covers areas of landscape and turf management, greenhouse and nursery production, and landscape design. From working in the greenhouse to maintaining turf on the Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course or from attending career fairs to touring stadiums, Horticulture at NCTA provides opportunities to learn outside of the traditional classroom. Much of the NCTA campus landscaping is completed by students in the horticulture department including the lawns, retaining walls, flower beds and ponds. Students take an active role in renovation or reconstruction projects on campus. Financial management, human resource skills, hands-on experience and much more have been built into the curriculum, with an over-arching emphasis on entrepreneurship.

NCTA has a large greenhouse with production areas as well as a large collection of tropical plants. That facility, combined with laboratories, Arrowhead Meadows golf course and the campus landscape, provide the perfect tools for learning. NCTA is one of more than 40 Statewide Arboretum sites which allow students to work with a variety of grasses, plants and trees. Most of the nearly 250 trees and shrubs taught in plant identification classes are found on our campus or nearby in the community.

The NCTA Horticulture Club is another outlet for those interested in horticulture. The club members compete yearly in a variety of landscape competitions at the PLANET Student Career Days. Fundrasing sales held on campus cover the travel costs for the visits to various businesses around the state, also provide a way for students to gain valuable insight into the dynamic and exciting field of Horticulture.

There are many job opportunities in Horticulture—not to mention the opportunities to own and operate your own business.



Graduates of this program are equipped to begin working in a nursery or greenhouse setting.  Those with the desire to start their own business will have the tools and knowledge to do so.  The opportunity to create a business plan while at NCTA is also an option.

Turf and Landscape Management:

This program trains students to work in a number of areas in horticulture such as lawn care, golf courses, and general landscaping.  This program is ideal for students currently working in the landscape industry and looking to improve their skills and knowledge as well as those students who are looking for immediate employment in a growing industry.

Landscape Design:

Graduates of this program have the skills to not only create landscape designs but also to read them making them valuable employees to any design-build company.  Students with an interest in landscape design have the opportunity to express their creative and artistic side while making an impact in their communities.

A 30-credit Certificate program can be tailored to fit the needs of individual students.

Transfer Options:

Transfer courses can be taken in horticulture.  

Horticulture Certificate and Degree Programs for Working Adults

For more information about Horticulture at NCTA, contact Tee Bush at 1-800-3-CURTIS or tbush@unl.edu