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Department of Horticulture Strategic Plan 2013-2019
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Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating and using high‐value plants to improve human life; we create global solutions for sustainable, nutritious food sources and healthy, beautiful environments. The meaning of “Horticulture” may be unfamiliar to some, but under the umbrella of that term, our programs are very recognizable. Horticulture is plant science that includes the study of plant growth and plant interactions with the environment (soil, air, water) to improve human life through the cultivation of food and ornamental plants and the maintenance of a sustainable environment. Horticulture is unique as a scientific field of study in that it often utilizes artistic expression to aid the design of human landscapes and to restore natural environments. At its core it is an environmental science that recognizes that humans are dependent on their environment for sustenance and wellbeing. Horticulture has developed as a field of study that recognizes humans are physiologically and artistically linked to nature through millions of years of human evolution. Virginia Tech’s Department of Horticulture offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in a range of applied and basic environmental plant science topics, from plant‐soil interactions, biotechnology, landscape design, sustainable urban landscaping, urban forestry, crop production, and plant breeding. Our department is committed to engaging students in service and learning projects in the local community. We are designated as an Engaged Department by Virginia Tech’s Center for Student Engagement & Community Partnerships – a reflection of our dedication to lifelong service and learning within our curriculum. We fully embrace the land‐grant mission of outstanding undergraduate and graduate education, relevant, problem‐solving research, and comprehensive, dynamic outreach and extension. With this strategic plan as a guide, we in Horticulture will address current and emerging issues, all while bettering the quality of life for those in the Commonwealth and beyond.