Agricultural Education majors may choose from two options. The curriculum in agricultural education is designed to provide professional preparation for extension agents, for teachers of agricultural education and for persons in agriculture service areas where the knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences essential to teaching are desirable attributes.
Agricultural education graduates are employed by high schools, area vocational schools, community colleges, Extension Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Rural Development and other state and government agencies.
Professional courses in teacher training are provided in agricultural education, education and psychology. Persons preparing to teach spend 10-12 weeks in an approved high school agriculture department as student teachers. Students not planning to teach must substitute an approved internship program with an agricultural agency. Students in agricultural education gain leadership experiences through the Collegiate FFA Chapter or Collegiate 4-H.
Broadfield Teaching Option
The teaching option offers students a balanced program among animal science, plant and soil science, agricultural economics and agricultural mechanics. Graduates are eligible to receive a class two (standard) teaching certificate which permits them to teach in high schools and qualifies them as instructors of agricultural education under National Vocational Education Acts.
Students in this option may pursue a teaching minor in a variety of disciplines that provides them with additional employment opportunities in the field of education.
A minimum of 128 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above. Students must also meet the requirements of the Teacher Education Preparation Program.
The relations option is designed specifically to prepare students for entry-level employment in the Extension Service or public agriculture sector. It provides broad-based education that emphasizes six subject matter areas: animal science, plant science, economics, education communications and agricultural technology. An internship in a local Extension office or an approved internship program with an agricultural agency is required.
A minimum of 128 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.
Students earning a degree in AgEd Relations are prepared for a wide variety of jobs because they have a broad base of knowledge combined with excellent people skills. Past graduates have taken positions with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services, Montana Office of Public Instruction, United States Division of Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife Parks, Cooperative Extension Service, Kraft, Inc., Anheuser Busch, National FFA, CHS, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, American Feed Industry Association, Museum of the Rockies, Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Outdoor Science School, KMON Radio, and in Montana non-formal education programs. Graduates from this option division earn competitive salaries in Montana, with salaries for extension agents ranging between $31,000- $75,000. The program also provides students with a strong foundation for advanced graduate education if they wish to pursue another degree.
Close to 70% of the AgEd Broadfield Teaching graduates pursue and secure teaching positions in Montana. Within recent years, graduates have also taken teaching positions in North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and California. While there is no state-wide salary schedule, most teaching option graduates who teach in Montana report starting salaries near $30,000. Those who have left Montana to teach often do so for starting salaries between $40,000 and $50,000 annually. The approximately 30% of Broadfield teaching option graduates who decide not to teach in the formal public school setting often take entry-level positions in corporate agriculture or they pursue graduate degrees. A small percentage of students also return to production agriculture.