Best Agricultural Education Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Agricultural Education programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Agricultural education is the study of the principles of agriculture and the application of those principles to the production of food and fiber. Agricultural education degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in agriculture, including agricultural extension, agricultural research, and agricultural education.

Agricultural education degrees offer a broad overview of agriculture, covering topics such as animal science, plant science, and soil science. Students in agricultural education degree programs learn about the different aspects of agriculture, and how to apply those principles to the production of food and fiber.

How to Choose the Right Agricultural Education Program

When it comes to choosing the right agricultural education bachelor’s degree program, there are a few key factors that prospective students need to keep in mind. The first is cost. Agricultural education programs can vary widely in terms of tuition and fees, so it’s important to do your research and find a program that fits your budget. The second is location. Many agricultural education programs are located in rural areas, so you’ll need to consider whether you’re willing to relocate for your studies. The third is time to degree. Some programs offer accelerated tracks that allow students to graduate in as little as two years, while others may take four years or more. Finally, you’ll need to consider the curriculum and make sure that it aligns with your career goals.

Best Bachelor’s in Agricultural Education Programs

The best programs for Agricultural Education ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from Clemson University is a diverse degree program that prepares students for a variety of careers in the agricultural industry. The program is focused on providing students with a broad knowledge of agriculture, including the science behind genetically modified soybeans, the political challenges of water management, and the complexities of agricultural marketing and commodities. Within the degree, students can choose from two concentrations to meet their career goals: leadership and teaching. The teaching concentration is for students who wish to pursue teacher certification for working in secondary education, and the leadership concentration is for students who want to become leaders, trendsetters, and innovators for the agricultural industry.

Rank 2
Murray State University
Murray, KY

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science from Murray State University is offered in both a traditional and 100% online format. Students in the online program have the flexibility to complete coursework at times that are most convenient for them. Those pursuing their degree on the Murray campus can get involved in organizations such as the Agribusiness Club, Collegiate FFA, and Alpha Gamma Rho. The school has extensive facilities, including four farm complexes located within a mile of campus, and offers students the opportunity to participate in research and discovery projects.

Rank 3
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri is a degree designed for students passionate about agriculture and working with people. The degree provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead and teach the next generation of agriculturalists. The curriculum includes coursework in agribusiness management, agricultural sales and marketing, plant sciences, animal sciences, agricultural systems management, natural resources and food science. The Teacher Certification emphasis prepares students to meet state teacher licensure requirements to teach agriculture in Missouri public schools at the secondary and adult levels. The capstone experience involves a semester-long teaching internship in a selected secondary agriculture program.

Rank 4
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from Southeast Missouri State University is a degree that leads to a variety of careers within agriculture. Career opportunities that are consistently available to graduates exist in a multitude of areas including secondary (high school) education, corporate training, management, sales, public relations, governmental representatives, non-profit representatives to list a few. Nearly 50% of agricultural education graduates enter a career outside of secondary education within the field of agriculture.

Rank 5
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences from Oregon State University is a flexible program that allows students to design their own degree. The program is rooted in more than 150 years of agricultural teaching expertise and is delivered through a top-ranked online learning platform. Students can choose from a variety of agriculture-based credits and electives, such as crop and soil science, agricultural sciences and natural resources communications, leadership or agricultural business management. The College of Agricultural Sciences’ broad-ranging course offerings enable students to explore topics across the agricultural spectrum or specialize in a few areas of emphasis based on their interests and career goals.

Rank 6
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from University of Arkansas is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in agricultural education. The program offers four concentrations: Agricultural Education, Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Systems Technology Management, and Agricultural Leadership.

Rank 7
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from Kansas State University prepares students to teach agriculture or agricultural sciences in secondary and post-secondary schools. The curriculum provides students with a broad knowledge of agriculture, along with communication and people skills. The program culminates with an internship teaching agricultural courses and advising students in an FFA chapter.

Rank 8
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Platteville, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a well-rounded program that prepares students for careers in teaching agriculture. The program includes coursework in all areas of agriculture, as well as instruction in teaching methods. Students also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities.

Rank 9
Illinois College
Jacksonville, IL

The Bachelor of Arts in Agribusiness Management from Illinois College is an online degree program that prepares students for business roles within the agricultural sector. The curriculum combines essential business and agricultural topics, giving students a broad understanding of successful practices in all aspects of the field. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes a required internship.

Rank 10
North Carolina A & T State University
Greensboro, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from North Carolina A & T State University is a two-year program designed for students who have an interest in becoming secondary agricultural educators in the public school system. The program is comprised of two study tracks: the Secondary Education Track and the Professional Service Track. Students in the Secondary Education Track are eligible for licensure from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in addition to careers in agribusiness and government. Students in the Professional Service Track are prepared for careers in government, agribusiness, international agriculture, and cooperative extension.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Education Program

The agricultural education program at the bachelor’s level is designed to prepare students for careers teaching agriculture-related subjects at the secondary level. The program typically requires four years of full-time study and includes both general education coursework and major classes.

Classes focus on topics like agricultural science, animal science, horticulture, agribusiness, and agricultural education methods. Students also complete a student teaching internship. Some programs allow students to choose a specialization, such as agricultural mechanics or agronomy.

Most online agricultural education programs are designed for students who have already completed some college coursework. Students should expect to spend time on a farm or ranch as part of the program. Agricultural education programs typically do not offer separate concentrations, but they may allow students to choose electives or interdepartmental courses to match their specific interests.

Common Agricultural Education Courses

Agricultural education programs typically offer a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities. The courses below are some of the most common ones found in agricultural education programs.

Classroom Management

This course covers the development, implementation, and evaluation of positive classroom management practices in agricultural education. Emphasis is placed on the use of verbal, nonverbal, and physical management strategies to create a positive learning environment. Upon completion, students should be able to develop, implement, and evaluate positive classroom management practices.

Principles of Agricultural Education

This course is an overview of the profession of agricultural education with an emphasis on its history, philosophy, and role in society. The course will also cover the different types of agricultural education programs, the process of program planning, and the different ways agricultural education is delivered. Upon completion, students should be able to understand the different types of agricultural education programs, the process of program planning, and the different ways agricultural education is delivered.

Instructional Delivery Systems

This course covers the methods, materials, and media used in agricultural education. Emphasis is placed on the selection and utilization of various types of instructional materials and media, as well as the design and delivery of agricultural education lessons. Upon completion, students should be able to select and utilize various types of instructional materials and media, as well as design and deliver agricultural education lessons.

Safety in Agriculture

This course covers the study of safety principles and their application to the agricultural industry. Topics include hazard recognition, risk assessment and control, personal protective equipment, ergonomics, confined space entry, and emergency response. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and assess agricultural safety hazards and implement risk control measures to create a safe work environment.

Leadership Development

This course covers the development of leadership skills and abilities through the study of personal traits, characteristics, and styles. Emphasis is placed on the application of leadership theories to real-world situations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of leadership theories and their application to personal and professional development.

Career Options for Agricultural Education Graduates

Graduates of agricultural education programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including agriculture, education, and extension. They may also work in fields such as 4-H, natural resources, and community development.

Agricultural High School Teacher

Agricultural high school teachers typically teach one or more subjects related to the production of crops and livestock. They may teach courses in animal science, horticulture, agronomy, and agricultural mechanics. Agricultural high school teachers typically work in public high schools, but may also work in private schools, vocational schools, or community colleges. In addition to teaching, agricultural high school teachers may also be responsible for developing curriculum, advising students, and grading student work.

Farm Manager

Farm managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a farm. They oversee the planting, growing, and harvesting of crops; the raising of livestock; and the maintenance of the farm property. Farm managers typically work with a team of farmhands and may be responsible for hiring and training new employees. In addition to their agricultural knowledge, farm managers must also have business skills to manage the financial aspects of the farm, such as budgeting, bookkeeping, and marketing.

Director of Agricultural Operations

The director of agricultural operations manages the business side of a farm, including the financial, personnel, and marketing aspects. In smaller operations, the director may also be responsible for some of the production tasks. The director works with the owner or general manager to develop long-term plans and objectives for the farm and oversees the day-to-day operations to ensure that those plans are carried out. The director also manages the farm’s budget and financial records, develops marketing and sales strategies, and oversees the hiring and training of farm staff.

Agricultural Sales Specialist

Agricultural sales specialists sell products and services related to farming and ranching, such as seed, fertilizer, farm equipment, and crop insurance. They work with farmers and ranchers to identify their needs and then match them with the products and services that will best meet those needs. Agricultural sales specialists typically work for companies that manufacture or sell agricultural products, but they can also work for independent brokerages, insurance companies, and other businesses that serve the agricultural industry.

Livestock Judge

Livestock judges appraise the quality of animals and award prizes at livestock shows. They typically judge cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, but may also judge other animals, such as rabbits, llamas, and poultry. Judges consider the animal’s physical characteristics, such as muscle development, body structure, and coat condition. They also take into account the animal’s genetic makeup and its history of show performance.

Insights From an Agricultural Education Graduate

Veronica Mills is an Agricultural Education Teacher at the high school level. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from the University of Wyoming. Veronica has over 20 years of experience in the agricultural industry.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Agricultural Education program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Veronica Mills: The biggest takeaway that I got from my Agricultural Education program was the importance of teaching agricultural literacy to the general public. I believe that it is important for everyone to understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.

In addition, I learned about the different types of careers that are available in the agricultural industry. I had no idea that there were so many different types of jobs available in agriculture. I also learned about the importance of agribusiness and the role that it plays in the agricultural industry.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Agricultural Education be good at?

Veronica Mills: Agricultural Education students should be passionate about the agricultural industry and have a desire to learn more about it. They should also be good at communicating and working with others.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Veronica Mills: The most challenging course I took was Agricultural Economics. The course was challenging because it was very theoretical and there were a lot of calculations involved. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be prepared to do a lot of math. You will also need to be able to understand and apply economic concepts.


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