Department of Agricultural Education and Studies 125th Points of Pride

Research Demonstates Need to Integrate Communication Skills
Developing proficiency in communication skills and knowledge has long been a challenge for students in institutions of higher learning. Research conducted with university faculty in the CALS indicated a need to develop strategies for the integration of communication skill development into the technical agriculture courses. Various recommendations for integrating communication skills were developed and the college began incorporating communication skill-building into its courses in 1990 through the Agricultural Communication program. Robert Martin, head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies at that time and director of the AgComm program, was a leader in working with faculty to incorporate communication exercises into classes. In 2001, a university-wide program emphasizing communication skills, modeled after the AgComm program, was implemented.

Educational Research Impacts Adoption of Conservation Technologies
Scientific misconceptions decrease adoption of conservation technologies. For example, wrongly thought of as "grasslands," prairie's value as a stellar water management technology is widely underestimated. Educational research by Nancy Grudens-Schuck, associate professor in agricultural education and studies, shows grouping prairie plants by their function as water filters and soil stabilizers helps to break down stereotypes of prairie as “just grass.”

Developing a Global Perspective Necessary for a Career in Agriculture
If young people are to be fully educated and able to take advantage of future career development opportunities in the agricultural industry, they need more education about international agriculture and developing a global perspective. That finding was based on research conducted with young and adult farmers, extension professionals, agri-business professionals and university faculty in Iowa. The study also showed that internationalization in agricultural education would not receive the attention it needs unless more opportunities are provided for faculty and students to travel and participate in international activities. Various recommendations and models for delivery of education related to internationalizing the curriculum were developed. Robert Martin, a professor in agricultural education and studies, led the research and coordinates the secondary major and minor in international agriculture.