Agricultural Communications

Dr. Lulu Rodriguez, Director
274 Bevier Hall
905 S. Goodwin Ave.
PH: 217-300-1045

For the Degree of Bachelor of Science with a Major in Agricultural Communications

The major in Agricultural Communications is for students wishing to pursue careers as professionals in writing, editing, and publishing; public relations; advertising; radio and television broadcasting; photography; and related activities with an emphasis on the fields of food, agriculture, the environment, energy and consumer behavior. Concentrations in Journalism or Advertising allow students to pursue these professional interests. Program requirements in each concentration include the completion of an interdisciplinary minor in Food and Environmental Systems. The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the College of Media jointly offer this curriculum.

A minimum of 126 hours are required for graduation, including:
General Education Requirements
Agricultural Communications major requirements
Minor in Food and Environmental Systems requirements
College of Media concentration requirements

Prescribed Courses including Campus General Education

Composition I and Speech
Select one of the following:6-7
Writing and Research
and Public Speaking
Oral & Written Comm I
and Oral & Written Comm II
Advanced Composition
Select from campus approved list. (JOUR 200; AGCM 220).3-4
Cultural Studies
Select one course from each of the following: Western/Comparative culture, non-Western culture, and U.S. minority culture from campus approved list.9
Foreign Language
Coursework at or above the third level is required for graduation.
Quantitative Reasoning I
Select one of the following:3-4
Applied Statistical Methods
Intro to Applied Statistics
Economic Statistics I
Elements of Statistics
Intro to Statistics
Intro to Social Statistics
Intro Stat for Social Work
Quantitative Reasoning II
Select one from campus approved list.3-4
Natural Sciences and Technology
Physical Science
Select one from the following:3-5
Introduction to Meteorology
Severe and Hazardous Weather
Climate and Global Change
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Lab I
Introduction to Energy Sources
The Oceans
Natural Disasters
Physical Geology
College Physics: Mech & Heat
Life Science
Select one from the following:3-4
Companion Animal Biology &Care
Evolution and Human Disease
Introduction to Crop Sciences
Environment, Agric, & Society
Contemporary Nutrition
Introduction to Plant Biology
Environmental Biology
Introductory Microbiology
and Intro Microbiology Laboratory
Humanities and the Arts
Select from campus approved list.6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC 100Intro Psych4
Select one course from:
Agr Cons and Resource Econ
Intro to US Gov & Pol
Agricultural Communications Required
ACES 101Contemporary Issues in ACES0 or 2
or ACES 200 ACES Transfer Orientation
AGCM 110Intro to Ag and Env Comm3
AGCM 320Public Information Campaigns4
JOUR 200Introduction to Journalism3
Select three of the following:6-7
Communicating Agriculture
Agricultural and Environmental Photography
Visual Principles for Ag Comm
Ag Sales and Persuasive Communication
Communications Internship
Emerging Media
Environmental Communications
Undergraduate Seminar
Comm in Env Social Movements
Students must also complete the ACES Minor in Food and Environmental Systems18
Students must choose one of two concentrations:
Required courses:
ADV 150Introduction to Advertising3
ADV 281Advertising Research Methods3
ADV 283Advertising and Brand Strategy3
ADV 284Consumer Insight3
Choose three of the following:
Content Creation
Media Entrepreneurship
Innovation in Advertising
Audience Analysis
Required courses:
JOUR 210Newsgathering Across Platforms4
JOUR 215Multimedia Reporting4
JOUR 311Media Law3
Choose three of the following:
Adv Public Affairs Reporting
Audio Journalism
Video Reporting & Storytelling
Multimedia Editing and Design
Video Storytelling 2-Producing
Electives to bring the total to 126 hours30-42
Total Hours126

AGCM Class Schedule


AGCM 110   Intro to Ag and Env Comm   credit: 3 Hours.

Development and role of communication in relation to food, feed, fiber, energy, natural resources, international development and other dimensions of agriculture. Introduction to channels, methods, challenges and opportunities for improving communication within agriculture and communicating agriculture to the public.

AGCM 199   Undergraduate Open Seminar   credit: 1 to 5 Hours.

Experimental course on a special topic in agricultural communications. May be repeated in the same or separate terms as topics vary.

AGCM 220   Communicating Agriculture   credit: 3 Hours.

Skills necessary to communicate complex information about the broad agriculture domain to different audiences. Application of communication theories. Emphasis on essential communication skills, including writing, conducting interviews, planning, and critical evaluation of information sources. Same as ENVS 220 and NRES 220. Prerequisite: Completion of a Composition I course.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

AGCM 230   Agricultural and Environmental Photography   credit: 3 Hours.

Application of photojournalism principles and techniques in the communication of topics related to food, agriculture, the environment, energy and community development for print, broadcast and computer-mediated applications. Emphasis on creative and technical aspects of digital photography.

AGCM 250   Visual Principles for Ag Comm   credit: 2 Hours.

This course outlines fundamental design principles and techniques for effective visual communication on print. These principles will be applied in project--magazine pages, logos, brochures, newsletters, posters and signs--to achieve communication objectives. This course provides practical, hands on experience in developing visual presentations about topics related to agriculture, food, fiber, renewable fuel, the environment, and natural resources. Students are introduced to the use of industry-standard desktop publishing software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator).

AGCM 270   Ag Sales and Persuasive Communication   credit: 3 Hours.

Sales concepts and persuasive business communication techniques. Role, dynamics, and principles of sales communications related to food, agriculture, and the environment. Sales objectives, market segmentation, prospecting, handling obligations, relationship building, and the nuances of sales communications.

AGCM 293   Communications Internship   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Supervised experience in a field directly pertaining to agricultural communications. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. AGCM Program approval required.

AGCM 294   Research Internship   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Supervised, on-campus, learning experience with faculty engaged in research. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 10 hours. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

AGCM 295   Independent Study or Research   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Individual research, special problems, thesis, development and/or design work under the supervision of an appropriate member of the faculty. May be repeated. Prerequisite: AGCM Program and instructor approval required.

AGCM 315   Emerging Media   credit: 3 Hours.

Theories, principles and practices of applying emerging tools, technology, and norms to communicate agriculture to broad audiences. Focus on the strategies and tactics of using new media to communicate food, fuel, fiber, natural resources, health, human nutrition and related topics. Same as ADV 315. Prerequisite: AGCM 220 or ADV 150 or consent of instructor.

AGCM 320   Public Information Campaigns   credit: 4 Hours.

Coordinated approach to planning, implementing and evaluating information campaigns in the broad domain of food and agriculture. Students work with groups, agencies and organizations in designing communication campaigns strategies and tactics. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and Composition I course.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Advanced Composition

AGCM 330   Environmental Communications   credit: 3 Hours.

Basics of communicating about environmental issues to various audiences, emphasizing communication to lay publics. Gathering information about a current environmental issue, analyzing interests of groups involved, and examining strategies for communicating clearly to different groups. Same as ENVS 330 and NRES 330. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

AGCM 396   Honors Research or Thesis   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Individual research, special problems, thesis, development and/or design work under the direction of the Honors advisor. May be repeated for up to 6 hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: Junior standing, admission to the ACES Honors Program.

AGCM 398   Undergraduate Seminar   credit: 1 to 3 Hours.

Special topics in a field of study directly pertaining to subject matter in agricultural communications. May be repeated in the same or subsequent terms to a maximum of 12 hours.

AGCM 430   Comm in Env Social Movements   credit: 3 Hours.

Examines the interests, values systems and communications strategies of key participants in the environmental movement. Students examine environmental issues and predict possible reactions from key participants in the environmental arena. Same as ENVS 430 and NRES 430. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Composition I course.

AGCM 499   Seminar   credit: 1 to 4 Hours.

Special topics in agricultural communications. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours as topics vary.