Student Profile

Arshdeep Saroa
Class of '13

Arshdeep Saroa is a 2013 graduate of the Agricultural Production PSM program, with a focus on Crop Production.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Punjab Agricultural University in India.  She chose Illinois PSM because she wanted to serve the life science industry both at the research and business development level.  Arshdeep completed her internship with Dr. Carl Bradley’s crop science laboratory where she applied fungicides for efficacy trials and rated plots for parameters such as plant vigor and sudden death syndrome of soybeans.  Her work also involved data collection, plot maintenance and processing wheat samples for DON analysis.  She is currently working as a synthetic biology applications scientist for Integrated DNA Technologies, the world's largest supplier of custom nucleic acids for academic research, biotechnology, clinical diagnostics and pharmaceutical development.  Arshdeep suggests that potential and current students “grab the opportunities as they come.  It might not be your dream at the time but it will give you new exposure and experience, which will take you a step closer to your dream destination.”

Agricultural Production

Combine your passion for animal, crop, or environmental science and business in the Agricultural Production PSM program. Earn your Master’s degree in just 18 months with no research or thesis.


Agribusiness needs people like you who know and understand the science of agriculture. Companies demand you not only know the science but can transform that knowledge into meaningful products and services. When you graduate from the Agricultural Production PSM program, you will leave with advanced knowledge in agricultural science and relevant real-world business knowledge and skills.

Agriculture is all about relationships. Learn to build connections between the laboratory, field, farmer, consumer, regulator, and investor. Your science and business courses will not only help you understand these connections but aid you in creating strategies and making decisions that will enhance food production.

As an agricultural production graduate, you can contribute to the full range of activities that take plants or animals from farm to fork.


We all know that food production and resource management is becoming increasingly important.  Food production capacity must double if we are to feed the burgeoning world population expected by 2050. Utilize the knowledge gained in your Master’s program to transform rapidly changing scientific knowledge into meaningful, sustainable products and services. 

Are you still trying to picture your career?

Illinois PSM graduates in agricultural production have worked as:

  • Breeding Manager
  • Production Farm Manager
  • Sales/Marketing Representative
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • International Development Analyst or Advocate
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Sustainable Farming Consultant
  • Veterinary Medicine Candidate

Agricultural Production graduates have been employed by companies such as:

Corporate Logos: Bayer, Deli Star, Tyson, AGCT, Inc., Farmers National Company, Corteva Agriscience, Tribute Farms, Illinois Farm Bureau, Boehringer Ingelheim, Fast Genetics, The Maschhoffs, Lallemand, New York State Soil and Water, Purina, JBS


Work with your advisor, Dr. Knox, to create a customized set of courses that match your interests and individual career goals. Choose from one of the following specialty areas:

  • Food Animal Production
  • Crop Production
  • Sustainable Production Systems


The integrated business courses, professional development seminars, and required internship make your Master’s program different than a traditional masters. Plus, your cross-disciplinary industry seminars offer you the opportunity to interact with industry and government leaders.

By the end of your program, you will be able to

  • Design a comprehensive marketing strategy
  • Manage the flow of products and services
  • Execute project plans within time and budget
  • Understand and discuss regulatory policies
  • Assess financial risks, statements, valuation, and capital budgets
  • Examine organizational behavior, structures, effectiveness, and more!


  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from a recognized institution abroad
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and for any graduate work
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for non-native speakers of English
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

For additional information or to discuss your learning and career objectives, contact Dr. Robert Knox, major advisor for agricultural production, at or (217) 244-5177.

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