Agriculture and Society Program
This undergraduate degree emphasizes the application of social science knowledge to issues related to agriculture and society. The interdisciplinary major draws largely on courses from sociology, political science and economics. It prepares students to become leaders in addressing complex issues related to the social and human dimensions of agriculture at both the local and global level. Students learn social science concepts and skills to understand, analyze and communicate complex ideas, information and data related to agricultural systems.
Internships are an important part of the A&S major. The curriculum offers the flexibility needed to accommodate the special interests and needs of each student.
Marketable Skills and Competencies
- Recognize, analyze and evaluate the critical human and social factors (e.g. attitudes, values, groups, policies, laws, institutions) impacting agriculture.
- Understand the social dimensions of agriculture and its connections with food and environmental systems.
- Develop problem solving, critical thinking, and leadership skills to positively influence human impacts on agriculture.
- Understand the perspectives of diverse stakeholders and develop strategies to communicate clearly and effectively to a range of audiences.
Students will develop the necessary skills to become effective leaders with companies, local, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies that work on agricultural, food and environmental related issues. Graduates can work in agricultural policy, government relations, public relations, communications, marketing, sales, extension, law and education.
Why Agriculture & Society?
“Majoring in PSA gave me a solid foundation of knowledge in both social and agricultural sciences that I have drawn upon in every position I’ve held.Specifically,its curriculum has given me enough knowledge to ask informed questions when interviewing scientists, policy makers, farmers, and those in agribusiness.And my emphasis in agricultural communications allowed me to learn how to tell stories in meaningful, compelling ways. ”
Melea Reicks Licht
’00 public service and administration in agriculture (agriculture and society), ’05 MS agricultural education and studies
"What was most special for me majoring in Agriculture & Society, was that it felt like my major was designed by me and for me. There was a lot of flexibility in choosing classes I would be interested in and that related to my career goals."
'18 agriculture and society
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Carmen Bain
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
316 East Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011