Published Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
WSC will be the only institution in Nebraska to offer the concentration through the Communication Arts Department.
Wayne State recognizes the growing need for professionals within agriculture with the skill sets needed to advocate for a field that provides approximately 1 in 3 jobs across Nebraska. Wayne State’s newly created agricultural communication and leadership concentration taps a growing profession that brings together agricultural, food, and life sciences with a practical understanding of all forms of marketing and public relations communication. Wayne State College will be the only institution in Nebraska to offer a concentration in agricultural communication through the Communication Arts Department.
“I love that this concentration provides students with new options and opportunities that they may not have considered, or even been aware of,” said Dr. Yasuko Taoka, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “Many students who are interested in agriculture and natural resources might assume that the career paths are limited to farming and sales, but there are so many other aspects of the agricultural sector that house fulfilling careers. This concentration answers the call for students who are passionate about the fields of media / public relations and agricultural / environmental resources. If you’re interested in making videos, writing articles, and using social media to share your passion for agriculture and natural resources, this major concentration is for you!”
The agricultural communication and leadership concentration will be included under the mass communication major. The concentration will include the mass communication core courses (15 credit hours) plus 21 credit hours in radio and video production courses, public relations, social media marketing, organizational leadership, intercultural communication, and agricultural communication. In addition, students may choose a 48-hour concentration by choosing 12 more hours of elective credit from areas such as public relations writing, advertising copywriting, electronic journalism, and other communications areas.
"The new concentration is geared to students who have a passion to communicate agriculture and perhaps have been involved in 4-H and FFA in the past,” said Dr. Deborah Whitt, chair of the Communication Arts Department. “The department will also offer students the opportunity to participate in a new student club called, ‘Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.’ ACT is a nationally recognized student media club."
This concentration will provide students an opportunity to apply their communication skills in yet another area of employment that is particularly relevant to our state. Internships are readily available for communication students to serve on agricultural boards, associations, and councils. The program of study in agricultural communication and leadership would pair well with other programs of study at Wayne State. For example, students could be encouraged to minor in biology choosing 21 hours of courses that might include zoology, environmental studies, conservation biology, Great Plains flora, experimental plant science, ecology, and wildlife management
By studying agricultural communication and leadership, students will learn the complexity of communicating the science of agriculture in our media-rich world through writing, photography, video, and radio production. As such, students will learn how to promote an ag business, popularize a new agricultural method, and/or advocate for issues embedded in this industry, which addresses the workforce needs of business and industry and makes Wayne State students more marketable upon graduation.