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What should I do to study plants in college if it isn't a main career goal/path?

I love gardening and plants and love learning about them. I took a small horticulture class through 4-H last year, which I really enjoyed. But, I don't plan on doing stuff with plants as a full-time career, I'd like to do it more as a hobby. So, I was wondering what I should do for high school and college.
I'm planing on majoring in Equine Studies or some other horse class and becoming a horse trainer and riding instructor. Would it be smart to minor in a plant class? What would be a good plant-related minor? Or would it be possible to just take a few classes about plants, not an entire minor, but still taking them? Or should I just not take any classes like that and learn more from experience?
My high school also has special classes that you can take in 11th and 12th grade. The two that I'm interested in are Agriculture and Horticulture. I was thinking agriculture might be better for my horse-related future, but horticulture might be a fun and interesting class to take for gardening (and getting lots of free plants).
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Sarah’s Answer

How wonderful that you have found something you enjoy!
You have so many wonderful options available to you.
1. Take elective courses in college that surround your horticulture interest
2. Enjoy a job at a nursery where you can meet like-minded people and learn while you get paid!
3. Free online courses, podcasts, books at the library.
4. Ask to help neighbors or homes for the elderly if you can help care for some of their plants
5. Teach others what you know—-sometimes the beauty in what we love is sharing your knowledge with others
6. Volunteer to help non-profits with their landscaping

Have fun—-sounds like you have a green thumb!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Those are great ideas, I will definitely keep them in mind and probably will do some of them! Cera
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Leonard’s Answer

Some very good answers here! In addition to getting part time work at a nursery, there may be many Facebook pages/groups (as well as YouTube channels) of hobbyists in plants. You never know who you might meet, what you might learn, and where your curiousity might take you.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I already follow a few people, but I'll look into it some more! Cera
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Brooke’s Answer

Hi Cera,

I would suggest looking at making it your minor in college if you enjoy it but decide you dont want to pursue this as a full-time career! You also could look at getting a local job while you are in school to learn more about it or maybe even see if there is a place locally where you could volunteer.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! That's kind of what I was thinking, too. Cera
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