Iowa State University has a long history of producing strong agricultural communicators, including many on our staff here at Farm Bureau. But for several years, the college has lacked a dedicated agricultural communications major. 

Instead, students wishing to launch a career in ag communications have typically majored in another subject, such as ag education with a communications emphasis, or majored in journalism and relied on their agricultural backgrounds to land a career in the profession.

That’s about to change after the Iowa Board of Regents approved a new undergraduate major, Bachelor of Science in agricultural communication, in ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The interdisciplinary major debuts this fall and is expected to be a popular choice for current and future students. 

Logan Schmitt, president of the ISU Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club, says the new major will put ISU students on par with their peers at other colleges.

As each generation of consumers get further removed from the farm, there’s an ever-growing need for communicators to help tell the stories of how Iowa and U.S. farmers are growing and raising more food using fewer resources than ever before. Job placement rates for ISU graduates majoring in agricultural and life sciences with a communication emphasis has been around 99% for the last five years, according to Mike Gaul, CALS director of career services.

“The demand for ag communication students, especially in the digital marketing space, has been incredibly strong,” he said.