Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications

Major Description

The Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications (ALEC) program helps you develop deep knowledge and skills to thrive in groups of all kinds, addressing everyday and grand challenges in whatever path you pursue. ALEC brings agriculture, the environment, and society together into one cutting-edge program, with three concentrations to choose from.

In fact, any career that values leadership, education, and communication benefits from the power of an ALEC degree.


Tell the stories that bring people together—and make the language of science accessible to all. Learn to effectively communicate complex information about agriculture, food, and the environment to different audiences. You’ll apply communication theories, sharpen your writing and interview skills, and critically evaluate information sources.

Teach science and collaborative problem-solving skills—to all learners—with expertise, equity, and compassion. Prepare for a career in education for agricultural education programs. Whether you plan to teach at the high school or college level, you’ll gain unparalleled experience by completing more than 100 hours of clinical experience and a 12-week student teaching experience. Along with hands-on projects leading classes and workshops, you’ll focus on educational program components, teaching and learning principles, community relationships, and reflective teaching.

Better yourself—and empower others—with the skills that bring about change and transform lives. Build a powerful foundation with the soft skills every employer seeks—and that serve you for life. You’ll learn to communicate effectively within diverse teams, explore ethical issues, find solutions to complex problems, and proactively track your growth as a leader. You’ll also gain real-world, hands-on experience
through a 10-week internship within companies, organizations, and communities.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • ALEC 110 - Introduction to Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
  • LEAD 260 - Foundations of Leadership
  • AGCM 220 - Communicating Agriculture
  • AGED 220 - Program Development in Ag & Leadership Education

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Minor in Food and Environmental Systems

The ALEC curriculum includes a built-in minor in Food and Environmental Systems, which provides scientific and technical grounding. Students take coursework in a variety of scientific and technical subject matter areas, enabling them to develop strengths in animal or crop sciences, food science and human nutrition, natural resources, environmental sciences and policy, agricultural and consumer economics, human development and family studies, or agricultural engineering and technology. 

Possible Career Opportunities:


  • Account executive
  • Journalist
  • Marketing specialist
  • Public relations specialist
  • Sales manager
  • Social media strategist
  • Technical writer


  • After school coordinator
  • Classroom educator
  • Corporate trainer
  • Curriculum developer
  • Extension professional
  • Environmental educator
  • Natural resources advocate


  • Community leader
  • Human resources manager
  • Leadership consultant
  • Nonprofit director
  • Organizational trainer
  • Policy development specialist
  • Program administrator
  • Strong writing
  • Public relations
  • Public affairs and investigative reporting
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Public speaking
  • Radio and television broadcast production
  • Research 
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Account executive/manager for ag- and environment-oriented advertising/public relations agencies
  • Ag/Farm broadcaster (radio, TV, online)
  • County manager
  • Creative director
  • Customer relations
  • Dealer communications specialist
  • Development officer
  • Director of communications
  • Editor, writer, reporter, publisher
  • 4-H program coordinator
  • Industry relations specialist
  • Marketing specialist
  • Media communications specialist
  • Media relations and public relations manager
  • Meetings and events coordinator
  • Multimedia designer
  • News group editor, manager
  • Online content editor
  • Photographer/photojournalist
  • Press secretary
  • Public relations specialist
  • Sales and marketing associate
  • Social media coordinator
  • Sustainability specialist
  • Technical writer
  • Videographer
  • Web content manager
  • Web master

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Get out of the classroom and enrich your education with opportunities on and off campus.
  • Participating in undergraduate research with one of our faculty members.
  • Applying for a study abroad experience that are perfect for an ALEC student. Two specifically hosted within the program - Panama and Italy.
  • Enroll in an internship experience (ALEC 393) where you put into practice concepts that are learned in your classes.
  • Join a Registered Student Organization to develop your professional network and yourself. Opportunities specific to ALEC
Further Information:

For more information about the Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications Program, please contact Gary Ochs (