Agricultural communication and journalism is a field of study designed to change people's behaviors. The agricultural production and processing industry is faced with issues of image, ethics and survival. American agriculture comes under fire from consumers, government agencies and environmental interest groups. The greatest deficiency of agricultural production and processing is the effective communication of ideals and standards to wide and varied audiences. A significant demand exists in agribusiness and related fields for skilled communicators. This program combines courses in journalism and agriculture to develop a well-rounded agricultural communication professional.
Students have the option to emphasize their studies in Public Relations/Corporate Communication, Print Journalism, or Broadcast Journalism.
A Public Relations/Corporate Communication emphasis teaches the maintenance of the public perception of an organization, business or person. Classes will teach image building, media relations, event planning, crisis management, web communications, social media and much more.
A Print Journalism emphasis instructs students how to find, collect and report the news. Students typically find careers writing for either a newspaper or magazine. Most students in this emphasis write for the on-campus newspaper, The Utah Statesman.
A Broadcast Journalism emphasis prepares students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in radio, television and other areas of the communications industry. Students will gain hands-on experiences working with technology used in the broadcasting field.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a degree in agricultural communication and journalism?
Graduates with a degree in agricultural communication and journalism can obtain jobs as writers for agricultural-related publications, public relations specialists, broadcasters, editors, advertisers, extension agents, sales representatives, lobbyists, event planners, graphic designers, website designers, photographers, congressional aides and producers of radio, video and television.
What is the employment outlook?
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.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 24 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for public relations is an increasingly competitive and global business environment should increase demand for these workers, especially those with special knowledge or international experience such as agricultural communications. The recent emergence of social media in public relations is expected to increase job growth as well.
What is the salary of a graduate?
Agricultural communication and journalism graduates receive an average starting salary of $25,000-$45,000 with increase opportunities. Salaries will vary with location, job position and responsibilities.
Will I build my professional portfolio as a student?
Classes in the agricultural communication and journalism program are focused on building your professional portfolio. They will provide hands-on experiences and teach the skills necessary to create professional pieces for your portfolio.
What classes will I take?
To view the list of required classes for an agricultural communication and journalism major, see 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 $290,000 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 communication and journalism students.
Agricultural Communication Club: This club fosters career development among future agricultural communicators; facilitates public relations and communication within the College of Agriculture; nurtures professional development; and encourages student involvement in the university, community and industry. For further information, please contact Kelsey Hall.
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.
Public Relations Student Society of America: PRSSA is a student chapter of Public Relations Society of America, the world's largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members. The society also advocates for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services and acts as one of the industry's leading voices on the important business and professional issues of our time. For further information, please email the JCOM department.
True Blue Communication: This is a student firm with real-life business clients. The firm allows students to have hands-on experience working with a client for either internship credit or pay. Students mainly focus on the public relations and marketing aspects of business. For further information, please email the JCOM department.
Communicators Guild: This is a student association for journalism and communications students at Utah State University. The focus of this association is to meet and network with students in the department and recent alumni to further current and future employment opportunities. For further information, please email the JCOM department.
For a list of all College of Agriculture and Applied Science clubs, click here.
What are the internship requirements?
While internships are not required to graduate with a degree in agricultural communication and journalism, internships are highly recommended; as they will help you form the necessary skills for the work field and make connections with potential employers.
Where can I get more information?
For more information about the agricultural communication and journalism program at Utah State University, contact Taylor Adams.