Ag Leadership Development Areas of Focus

Agriculture leadership development programs place an emphasis on the development and refinement of leadership skills while providing a broad education in agriculture and the life sciences. Students and farming professionals will study an array of subjects and courses that place common agriculture principles and practices in broader economic, scientific, and social contexts.

Agriculture Leadership Subjects

Agriculture leadership programs provide learners with both a comprehensive education in leadership theory and offer a variety of contexts in which to apply that education. Agriculture leadership touches on a wide range of subject areas in life and natural sciences, economics, public policy, and more. The subjects studied in an agriculture leadership development program give students the tools to apply their agriculture knowledge to any one of these areas and more. Common agriculture leadership subjects include:

  • Agribusiness
  • Agricultural Education
  • Environmental Policy
  • Horticulture Business
  • Landscape Management
  • Natural Resource Ecology and Managements
  • Plant and Soil Sciences
  • Zoology

Agriculture Leadership Courses

Agricultural leadership courses merge essential agricultural education subjects such as food sciences, plant sciences, and conservation of natural resources with courses in management, communication, and organizational leadership. These courses are designed to produce students with the capacity to apply their agriculture knowledge and skills in a wide array of leadership contexts. Common courses include:

  • Introduction to Leadership in Agriculture
  • Agricultural Leaders in Society
  • Professional Development in Agriculture
  • Introduction to Cooperative Extension
  • Contemporary Issues in Leadership
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Fundamentals of Food Science
  • Written Communication in Agricultural Sciences

Agriculture Leadership Skills

A technical report from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities identifies 7 key “soft-skills,” that students should master on the path to leadership in agriculture and related careers (12).

  • Experience
  • Team Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Decision Making/Problem solving Skills
  • Self-management Skills
  • Professionalism Skills

Find out how these subjects, courses and skills can be channeled into a wide range of exciting Agriculture Leadership Careers.

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12. Pat Crawford; Suzanne Lang; Wendy Fink; and Robert Dalton (2011). Comparative Analysis of Soft Skills: What is Important for New Graduates? Michigan State University, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.