Agricultural systems technology (AST) is the study of how physical systems (machinery, electrical power, soil and water) can be used most effectively in modern agricultural production. AST blends the applications of physics, technology and physical systems with an emphasis on business management.

The modern agricultural and food industry depends on many complex, automated and mechanical systems for successful operation.

Problem-solving skills are vital in this field, and the program at the University of Missouri provides hands-on opportunities to get students real-world experience in different facets of agricultural systems management.

Whether it is a computer-controlled grain terminal on the Missouri River, a processing line at a food plant or a combine used in production agriculture, the successful operation and management of these systems require people who understand the principles of physical systems including energy and power use, mechanical and electrical systems and computer systems.

Students who graduate with an AST degree find jobs in agricultural and power equipment manufacturing, equipment sales, food production and processing, and state and federal agencies.

Companies including Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Bunge, John Deere, Case IH, and AGCO actively recruit agricultural systems management students from the University of Missouri.

Our graduates often go directly into management-level positions.

Students learn leadership and professional skills in clubs and organizations such as the AST Club, Torq’N Tigers and Alpha MU. AST Club members use their mechanical and business skills each spring during the club’s lawn mower clinic, in which they clean and service more than 250 mowers and tillers from the community. Torq’N Tigers members design and build a quarter-scale tractor to participate in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ national design and tractor pull competition. Alpha MU is the agricultural systems management honor society and includes students who possess high scholarship and outstanding leadership.

AST offers a variety of tailored study abroad programs to understand agricultural engineering practices in different countries, as well as economic, political and educational systems abroad.