A degree in agricultural education opens the door for students to share their passion about the science and production of food, fiber and natural resources. The program is designed to develop the needed background knowledge of basic agricultural concepts and technologies for teaching and cooperative extension. Agricultural educators instruct students in subjects including animal science, plant science, horticulture, agriculture mechanics, veterinary science and others. Through these subjects, agricultural educators teach students a wide variety of skills, including science, math, communications, leadership, management and technology. Coursework covers topics in such fields as agricultural economics; agricultural mechanization; animal, dairy and veterinary sciences; plant and soil science; and natural resources. Students choosing this major must also be admitted to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) administered by the College of Human Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the employment outlook for graduates in agricultural education?
The Agricultural Education program at Utah State has placed 100 percent of our graduates who were seeking a job as an agricultural educator.
The nation is currently experiencing a shortage of agriculture teachers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of agricultural educators is expected to grow by 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is as fast as the average of all occupations.
Will I get real-life classroom experience before I graduate?
Agricultural education students will receive hands-on experience in classroom settings. Beyond teaching opportunities, students will get hands-on experiences with agricultural mechanization; animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences; plant and soil science; natural resources; and leadership.Recent agricultural communication and journalism graduates from Utah State University have obtained jobs as an International Communications Manager, a Communications Specialist and public relations specialists for agricultural industries such as the Utah Department of Food and Agriculture, Intermountain Farmers Association and Novozymes.
What classes will I take?
To view a list of required classes for an agricultural education major, see the major requirement sheet in the general catalog.
Are there scholarships available to students?
There are many scholarships offered through the College of Agriculture. This year, the College of Agriculture awarded over $440,000 in scholarships to undergraduate students. College of Agriculture undergraduate students may apply for college and departmental scholarships during the month of January through an online application system called STARS. You will find instructions for the online applications at the College of Agriculture website.
Freshmen and transfer students may apply for scholarships through the Utah State University Admissions Office.
What student organizations are available to students?
There are many applicable organizations offered to agricultural education students.
Collegiate FFA: Collegiate FFA continues to be a part of agricultural education at the post secondary level of education. Collegiate FFA values empower driven pre-professionals to lead and serve in education, industry, and communities. It enhances the collegiate experience through service and engagement to create premier leaders, enable personal growth, and ensure career success of those who take a vital interest in American agriculture. For further information, please contact Dr. Becki Lawver. Click here for the FFA website.
Alpha Tau Alpha: Alpha Tau Alpha is a National Professional Honorary Agricultural Education Organization that plays a vital role in the preparation of those who have chosen a major in the agricultural education or extension education field. For further information, please contact Brian Warnick. Click here for the ATA website.
USU Young Farmers and Ranchers: Sponsored by the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, the Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers is open to college students to all areas of study who are interested in agriculture. The club offers meetings with guest speakers and social opportunities; leadership development, and educational conferences; local state, and national competitive events; and an introduction to involvement in local, state and national Farm Bureau programs. For further information, please contact Brett Evans.
What can I do if I decide not to teach high school?
Graduates with a degree in agricultural education are open to several job opportunities beyond high school agriculture education. Graduates have obtained jobs as cooperative extension professionals, agricultural literacy coordinators, agricultural education professors, farm business management instructors, 2-year technical college agricultural instructors, Young Farmer instructors, Adult Agriculture instructors, and a variety of jobs in the agriculture industry.
What is the beginning salary?
The average national salary for an agricultural educator is $35,000.
Where can I get more information?
For more information about the Agricultural Education program at USU, contact Taylor Adams.