Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies

Hannah Fisher, Research in the Capitol 2018

Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies

Agriculture is more than just farming; it is about food, energy, and conservation. Rural is more than just small towns; it is the linkages between cities, urban consumers, and the global economy. The Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies major prepares students to guide policy decisions impacting agriculture, the environment, and the well-being of rural communities. In short, our major is the people and policy side of agriculture.

Why study Ag Policy at Iowa State?
What do our students have to say?
Resources for Current Students

What career skills will I learn?

In the Ag Policy curriculum, students will learn about the social and policy dimensions of agriculture, and about strategies to promote rural resiliency and community vitality. The major will train students to engage with diverse audiences to discuss controversial issues, to promote public-private partnerships, and to lead and manage policy programs. The goal is to give students the tools to help rural people and places thrive in the 21st century. Specific career skills include:

  • Understanding connections between agriculture, the environment, and rural communities
  • Understanding linkages between local, national, and international agricultural systems
  • Investigating how social, economic, and cultural systems affect decisions
  • Analyzing information and recommending solutions to guide decisions
  • Evaluating program and policy outcomes
  • Communicating information and ideas to others to guide decisions
  • Leading and managing policy programs
  • Promoting civic engagement across diverse people and places

Who do I contact to learn more?

Contact the Ag Policy advisors by email at or give us a call at (515) 294-6480.

You can always stop by our offices in 302 or 308 East Hall on the Iowa State campus.