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Agriculture - Viticulture

Although the term viticulture is not often heard, it simply refers to the growing and culture of grapes. Southwest Michigan is home to vineyards and wineries of all sizes. Our region is considered one of the up-and-coming areas in wine production and local wine grape production is currently not keeping pace with the demand in the wine industry. Juice grape production is an established, large local industry. In a 2005 study, the Michigan Wine and Grape Industry Council and Welch’s found the economic impact of wine, grape, and grape juice in Michigan to be $789.3 million.

Michigan State University, the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), and Lake Michigan College have partnered to offer the viticulture program together. Students take specific courses needed for the program through LMC, some through MSU, and the rest through VESTA.  Students must be concurrently enrolled at LMC, VESTA, and MSU to qualify for financial aid in this program.  

View the Enrollment Process for the MSU IAT Viticulture Program at Lake Michigan College.

Learn more about the program and viticulture research MSU is conducting.

Career Information

Viticulturists perform a wide range of duties to grow high quality grapes. Daily duties change with not only weather, but with the seasons and variety of grapes grown. Irrigation, pruning, planting, scouting for insect and pest diseases, controlling weeds, maintaining equipment, and harvesting are all important tasks that grape growers perform. Along with keeping up with these responsibilities, grape growers may also have supervisory assignments and must manage the work of other employees. read more

Classroom Experience

Students in the viticulture program get many different classroom experiences. From biology and chemistry courses to English and math, students experience small classroom sizes and individual attention from LMC instructors in many general education courses.

MSU courses are held in the interactive television room where the instructor can be in East Lansing, Traverse City, or there in the same ITV room. There may be sessions at LMC for some of the MSU courses as well. read more

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