Careers in ag and rural policy

Agricultural and rural policy students will develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders in agriculture-related companies, non-profit associations and organizations, and state and local government agencies working on agriculture and rural issues.
Policy-related jobs are expected to grow 6 to 9 percent over the next decade, faster than other jobs nationally. Starting pay with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural policy-related fields range from $58,850 to $64,650. For students with exceptional academics and internships, starting pay can be as high as $77,500. After 5 years of experience or a graduate degree, pay typically ranges from $92,150 to $108,900.

Based on alumni surveys, Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies graduates work as:

  • Policy and legislative advisors, lobbyists
  • Agriculture and farmer relations specialists
  • Government affairs specialists
  • Attending law school or graduate school
  • Public information or communications specialists
  • Research analysts in the social sciences
  • Agricultural and environmental educators
  • Community and economic developers
  • City clerks and city managers
  • Agriculture marketing and sales

Most alumni are employed by agricultural businesses and cooperatives (farmer relations, government affairs, lobbyist, public information), non-profit organizations and government (policy analyst, legislative advisor, lobbyist, research analyst, public information, economic/community developer), and to a lesser extent by electric utilities and civil engineering firms (who employ government affairs, communications, and community development specialists).