College of Agriculture

The College of Agriculture emphasizes academic preparation with extensive community practice for leadership in rural Philippines. Courses are geared to understanding our society and to developing skills needed for making agricultural communities productive and financially viable. Silliman University College of Agriculture is an ACAP (Association of Colleges of Agriculture in the Philippines) charter member. 

The College offers degree programs in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (majors in Animal Science and Agronomy), Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and Master in Applied Science (M.App.Sci.) in Systems Agriculture. The Bachelor of Science programs are PAASCU accredited (level II). 

Through a 10-year development program under the sponsorship of the International Development Program that ended in June 1994, a new thrust in learning and teaching agriculture was developed. The initial step was sending all the members of the faculty for either Special Study Program, Masteral or Ph.D. studies in Australia. The Alternative Approach, a new curricular approach that emphasizes experiential learning and systems thinking and practice is now being implemented at Silliman University College of Agriculture.

The College of Agriculture utilizes an alternative approach to teaching and learning agriculture which emphasizes competency and issue-based learning. 

The competencies expected of a problem solver, and systems manager. It is envisioned that graduates with such competencies can cope with real world prob Federal Republic of Germany with a grant of $90,000. The College has modern lecture rooms and indoor laboratories for animal and plant sciences built in 1977 Another building unit composed of lecture rooms, a laboratory, a library and offices was built in 1980 through the joint support of the Evangelical Central Agency and the Coconut Federation of the Philippines (COCOFED). In addition, it has eight cottages for seniors and juniors constructed at a cost of P1.2 million donated by the COCOFED.



In 1902, Dr. David S. Hibbard, the first president of Silliman Institute, was instructed by the founders to "make provisions for a school garden and a farm". But this objective was not realized until 1913 when Mr. James Eskridge, a biology teacher, added to his schedule of classes an activity to teach gardening to elementary pupils. From this humble beginnings, a more comprehensive program based on the school farm evolved. Mr. Eskridge was appointed superintendent of the newly organized Agriculture Department and under his direction 50 acres of land were soon planted with crops.

Two courses in Agriculture were offered. Course I was designed for students who had limited time and money which ran through the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. Course II was meant for college students who planned to take further studies at the state College of Agriculture in Los Banos, Laguna. However, these encouraging developments came to a standstill in 1919 when Mr. Eskridge had to go on leave due to illness.

In 1933, under the ecouragement of two science assistant professors, Mr. Guillermo Magdamo and Mr. Fransisco Somera, the farm was put back into operation without involving itself in educational efforts. There was hope, however, for an expanded agricultural program and on August 28, 1940 the farm was made a demonstration project area and an arm of the extension service for rural development in the province. 

In February 1941, Mr. J. W. Schoening, a resident of the Philippines for sometime, donated 14.5 hectares of land in Sibulan to Silliman University in memory of his wife. This area was later on exchanged for a piece of land adjoining the already established Silliman Farm.

After the war years, it became clear that the re-establishment of formal agriculture classes was inevitable. On March 2, 1949 the incumbent University President, Dr. Arthur Carson convened a meeting to reorganize an agriculture department. The meeting resulted in the drawing up of a two-year curriculum for a course leading to the Associate in Agriculture degree. It was meant to prepare students for the course offered by the State College (UPCA) and earn a Bachelor degree in Agriculture (BSA) while at the same time providing students with limited funds the opportunity to apply what they have learned back in their farms.

The Department of Agriculture was formally established in 1950 and its curricular program was approved by the Board of Trustees who elected Mr. Boyd Anderson Bell as the first Department Head. Two visitng Fullbright professors, Dean Leland Call and Dr. Robert Polson helped to enrich the program offerings. Mr. Emmanuel Gervacio was appointed acting head in March 1945. Mr. Jorge Patriarca Juliano took over the job from 1955 until the time that Mr. Gervacio returned to the Department as its head in 1960. In 1954, a University survey headed by Dr. William Fenn recommended that Silliman University itself offer a four-year course. In cooperation with other departments the Agriculture Department offered courses leading to the bachelors degree in agricultural education and agricultural extension, under the College of Arts and Sciences.

In 1956, Mrs. John T. Scheide of Titusville, Pennsylvania donated $40,000 to help improve the farm and its academic buildings. Since then, Silliman Farm was also called Scheide Farm.

In 1960, Dr. George W. Beran, a fraternal worker, was assigned to the Agriculture Department. He became acting head in 1962 and subsequently chairman in 1969. It was during this time that the Central Evangelical Aid and Develpment Agency (EZE) of the Federal Republic of Germany, donated funds for the construction of a modern Swine and Poultry Complex for the improvement of animal science studies in the Department as well as provide available breeding stock to the community. Prof. Eduardo Lecciones succeeded Dr. Beran as Department Head from 1969 to 1972. During this time the BSA curriculum was modified and in 1973, students were allowed to undertake majors in either Agronomy, Animal Science or Agribusiness.

In 1976, the Department of Agriculture was elevated to a school of Agriculture with Dr. Christopher A. Ablan as the first Director. From this time onwards, numerous and rapid development took place in the school farm. In 1977, an eight-dormitory complex was built through a grant from the Coconut Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. (COCOFED). The years 1978 to 1980 saw the constraction of a modern classroom and laboratory complex, library and the acquisition of equipment and facilities through the generous grants received from COCOFED and EZE. These developments culminated in the elevation of the School of Agriculture of a College of Agriculture in 1981 with Dr. Christopher Ablan as the first College Dean.

At present, the Silliman University College of Agriculture is located in a 24 hectare agricultural complex located two kilometers north of the main University campus. Starting in 1983, the academic program of the College gradually adapted an evolved and innovative approach to teaching and learning agriculture. The Alternative Approach to Teaching and Learning Agriculture (AA) is anchored on the concept and methodologies of Experiental Learning and Systems Thinking.