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Agricultural and Extension Education . . .


What is Agricultural and Extension Education?

The Agricultural and Extension Education Program in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources allows students to complete concentrations in either "Agricultural Education" or "Agricultural Extension Education." These concentrations prepare graduates for careers in both formal and non-formal education. Completion of the Agricultural Education concentration leads to certification by the Tennessee Department of Education and a license to teach agriculture in one of Tennessee's public schools.
Completion of the Agricultural Extension Education concentration prepares students for employment as Extension agents in the Tennessee Extension Service (UT Extension) or in many of the other state Extension systems throughout the country. Both concentrations provide students with a broad array of agriculture courses and excellent preparation for employment in the rapidly growing agri-tourism industry or in other non-formal education careers that require a broad knowledge of the agricultural industry.

Should I consider Agricultural and Extension Education ?

Do you. . .
  • Enjoy working with children or adults in educational settings?
  • Have an interest in agriculture and natural resources?
  • Want to educate people about agriculture?
  • Want to enter a job market that encompasses a broad array of opportunities?
  • Want to aid in the growth of individuals both personally and professionally?
  • Want to make a difference in the lives of people and your community?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you should consider Agricultural and Extension Education.

What is the Agricultural Education Concentration?

The Agricultural Education concentration prepares students to meet teacher certification requirements for agricultural education in Tennessee public schools. The wide array of course choices for students in the Agricultural Education concentration include plant sciences, food science and technology, biosystems engineering technology, animal science, agricultural economics, and environmental and soil sciences. In addition to a variety of course offerings, the Agricultural Education concentration offers opportunities for students to explore agriculture both inside and outside the classroom. Teacher certification in Agricultural Education is obtained in collaboration with UT's College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

What is the Agricultural Extension Education Concentration?

The Agricultural Extension Education concentration emphasizes the leadership, management and educational skills necessary to work in the Extension services in the United States. County and state Extension services work with local governments, community leaders, families and individuals to address problems and issues and help improve people's lives. Extension is engaged in a broad range of educational programs in agriculture, natural resources, community resource development, nutrition, health, family issues, lawn and garden, and youth development. An Extension agent is a generalist in agriculture and natural resources or family and consumer sciences who plans and delivers non-formal educational programs for local citizens and community groups. An Extension agent must have an understanding of community needs, educational program planning and the non-formal learner.

What else can I do in the Agricultural and Extension Education program?

If you enjoy studying all aspects of agriculture but prefer to work in communications, it is also possible to develop a minor in collaboration with the UT College of Communication and Information. A major in Agricultural Science and a minor in Communications with a strong general background in all of the agricultural sciences will prepare you for careers in the dynamic field of agricultural communications, including agri-journalism, public relations and broadcasting.

How do I minor in Communications?

The Agricultural Science major is designed to allow students to pursue a minor in communications in preparation for one of the numerous careers in agricultural communications. This minor is offered by the College of Communication and Information. Current minors are broadcasting, journalism, public relations and speech communications. An interdisciplinary minor is also available.

Where do I get a job with this background?

National assessments project that within the next decade, the demand for food, agriculture and natural resources graduates will exceed the available supply by 4 to 10 percent. Salaries are competitive with many other professional fields. Graduates find employment in very diverse fields, including:
  • Agricultural education teacher
  • Agricultural Extension agent
  • Loan agent/director
  • Sales representative
  • Education specialist
  • Field representative
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Agricultural journalist
  • Farm manager

Extracurricular Opportunities for the major include:

  • Tennessee 4-H clubs have continually produced national winners in project competition, and Tennessee has one of the largest 4-H memberships in the nation. A collegiate 4-H chapter is active at UT.
  • Students in the program have the opportunity to become members of the Society of Agricultural Education Students. This organization promotes the development of scholarships, leadership and cooperative qualities through agricultural education activities.
  • The Philip Morris USA internship program provides prospective Extension agents the opportunity to observe and participate in a dynamic county Extension programs.
  • Several program-specific scholarships are available to students choosing to major in Agricultural and Extension Education.

Check out other CASNR programs:

Contact Us

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
2621 Morgan Circle
125 Morgan Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-7303
Fax: (865) 974-9329
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