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New UMD Program Recognizes Not All Agricultural Leaders Are Farmers

November 10, 2016
Contacts: 

Graham Binder 301-405-9235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland’s Certificate of Applied Agriculture undergraduate program is the university’s oldest non-degree program and one of its most successful with a 90 percent job placement rate for graduates. Now this signature UMD program is launching into a vital new area -- teaching “agricultural leadership and communication” to students who are passionate about the importance of agriculture, but don’t want to become farmers.
 
“True to our land-grant mission, we focus on meeting the needs of today’s agriculture industry in Maryland,” said Glori D. Hyman, director of the Institute of Applied Agriculture. “The Agricultural Leadership and Communication concentration was created in response to the many students who wanted to be involved with and promote agriculture and natural resources, but couldn’t picture themselves on the production side.”
 Institute of Applied Agriculture students
The new concentration is designed for students who want to develop their leadership and communication skills in addition to learning how to manage various agricultural enterprises and ecosystems. It brings together knowledge from multiple disciplines, including animal science, plant science, business and communication. Over the course of two years, students complete 60 credits that prepare them for careers in agricultural public relations, advocacy or marketing; agribusiness start-up, management and consulting; or management of agriculture-related associations and nonprofits.
 
“Students who earn a Certificate of Applied Agriculture are well-prepared for successful careers,” added Hyman. “That’s why more than 90 percent of our students have jobs in their fields of study by the time they graduate from the program.”
 
Housed in the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), the new Agricultural Leadership and Communication concentration is accepting incoming freshmen for the Fall 2017 semester. Information about the application process is available at www.iaa.umd.edu/apply.
 
The Institute of Applied Agriculture was established in 1965 to meet Maryland’s need for a post-secondary, hands-on, career-oriented education program that was less time consuming than a baccalaureate program