UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Marketing Communications (Agriculture) Major

The interdisciplinary Marketing Communications major integrates coursework on advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling and cyber marketing. Students develop knowledge and skills in oral, written, and visual modes of communication.

In addition to an introductory course and senior seminar in Marketing Communications, students will take courses from as many as seven departments in three colleges. Practical experience with current technology and a required internship program ensure that students have not only strong academic preparation, but also practical experience in marketing communications activities.

If you are interested in specializing your marketing communications degree in agriculture, please contact us using the Agricultural Economics phone or email on this page.

Faculty

The Marketing Communications faculty are drawn from the six academic programs which constitute this interdisciplinary major: art, English, journalism, speech communication and theater arts, agricultural economics, and agricultural education. All faculty advise students and have outstanding professional and academic qualifications. A full-time professor of marketing communications teaches core courses in the major, advises students and develops internship opportunities.

Alumni Spotlight

Trista (2011)

Trista Cady
Trista Cady

Graduation Year: 2011
Major/Minor: Agricultural Marketing Communications, Animal Science minor
Job Title: Account Supervisor
Employer: Harvest PR & Marketing

If you love to write, love agriculture and love to learn people's stories, you might be an agricultural marketing communications major! At UW-River Falls, I quickly realized all these things could add up to a career path.

The degree program provides experiences and learning across many different subjects – journalism, marketing, ag economics, design, advertising, public relations, online communication – plus your core CAFES classes. This breadth of knowledge really serves the diverse opportunities that you find on this career path.

I'm currently an account supervisor at a full-service PR agency in Minneapolis. We have a fairly small team, so it's up to me to be an expert in communication strategy, have a thorough understanding of my client's customer – a dairy farmer, a specialty crop farmer or even consumer audiences – and be able to write an article for a national or international trade magazine. Even if you don't specialize in every aspect of the MarComm program (hey, I never mastered InDesign!), having broad knowledge is helpful when working with your colleagues, vendors and clients.

At UW-River Falls, I exercised the skills I'd need in the workplace. I'd encourage students eyeing agricultural marketing communications careers to learn how to balance school and extra-curricular activities. Practice professional skills – I joined ACT and Sigma Alpha, and attended the career fairs. Get experience and "test" possible jobs – I was a student writer with University Communications and built up a portfolio of published pieces. Take opportunities to get out of your comfort zone – I studied abroad and attended national conferences, like Agriculture Future of America.

Learn what you're passionate about in college, and you'll find a rewarding career in agricultural marketing communications.

Brittany (2016)

Brittany Olson
Brittany Olson

Graduation Year: 2016
Major/Minor: Agricultural Marketing Communications
Position Title: Staff Writer
Employer: Dairy Star

I'm Brittany Olson and I'm a 2016 graduate of the agricultural marketing communications major at UW-River Falls. I'm a staff writer for Dairy Star and I cover the dairy industry from farm gate to fridge for 16 counties in northwestern Wisconsin. My husband and I are also fifth-generation dairy farmers on his family's 40-cow dairy near Chetek, Wis.

When I came to UWRF as a freshman, I started off wanting to go into agricultural lending. However, I was an A student in English and a C student in math, and I'd always enjoyed writing. The agricultural marketing communications program allowed me to develop and hone my skills as a journalist and agriculture industry professional through extracurricular involvement in organizations like Collegiate Farm Bureau and dairy club, and I was able to grow my professional network through the two internships I held with Land O'Lakes and Hoard's Dairyman. I also did some freelance writing for a number of agricultural publications throughout my four years at UWRF.

As an alumna of the agricultural marketing communications program, and of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, I am most thankful for the opportunities I've been able to take advantage of and the unrelenting guidance and encouragement I've received from my professors, club advisors, and fellow students. My advice to those looking for a career in agricultural communications, or any area of the agriculture industry, is this---be willing to work hard in and out of the classroom, surround yourself with good people, and find something that allows you to have infinite amounts of fun with what you do.

Kevin (2009)

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith

Graduation Year: 2009
Major/Minor: Agricultural Marketing Communications, Professional and Organizational Communications minor
Position Title: Integrated Marketing Communications Team Member
Employer: Land O'Lakes, Inc.

I am a 2009 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) with a major in Marketing Communications – Agriculture Emphasis and minor in Professional and Organizational Communications. While at UWRF, I was a Resident Assistant in the Department of Residence Life, planning a variety of social, academic and diversity programs for first-year students living on campus. In addition, I interned with Student Affairs as a Graphic Designer, creating promotional items for campus clubs, organizations and events.

After graduation, I began my marketing communications career in account management for agricultural and healthcare clients at PR and advertising agencies in Minneapolis. I am currently employed on the Integrated Marketing Communications team at Land O'Lakes, Inc., driving advertising, public relations, promotions and branded events for the seed and agronomy business, WinField United. I am also a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association – North Central Chapter and the UWRF Marketing Communications Advisory Board.

Jacki (2013)

Jacki Roden
Jacki (Roden) Moegenburg

Graduation Year: 2013
Major/Minor: Ag Marketing Communications
Position Title: Owner
Employer: Roden Barnyard Adventures

Before attending college I was always very involved with 4-H and sports, and college was no different! I quickly became involved in numerous student orgs such as ABMS, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Dairy Club, Block and Bridle, CAFES-Student Advisory Council, InterVarsity and intramural sports.  

During my earlier years of college, as I attended one of many conferences, I had the idea to start an agritourism business at my family's dairy farm. All of my experiences from college helped me to start that business right after graduation. Communication is one of the best skills a person can have on a personal and business level. I was able to practice those communications skills while helping to start Collegiate Farm Bureau on campus, along with their annual Ag Day on Campus event. Getting involved with CAFES organizations was the foundation of my future business dreams, along with all the hands-on experience I got in my marketing and communication classes!

I've always wanted to be a farmer and a teacher, and now I get to do both! Through Roden Barnyard Adventures, I offer farm tours, a summer farm camp, birthday parties and host other events on my family dairy farm. I teach the community about agriculture, and still work on our family farm in between! Communicating with employees, planning events, designing posters, advertising my camps, teaching youth, updating social media platforms, and so much more; all of these require marketing and communications skills and are now a part of my life each day! Whether working on the farm or organizing things for Roden Barnyard Adventures, my marketing and communications skills have helped me to be most successful each day! Specifically, agriculture communication will be the future of our industry: Communicating professionally to consumers about where their food comes from in order to build the trust!

Marketing Communications
310 North Hall
715-425-3899

Agricultural Economics
131 Agricultural Science
715-425-3298
fay.e.westberg@uwrf.edu 

Degree Requirements
Marketing Communications major

Contact Us

Agricultural Economics
fay.e.westberg@uwrf.edu
715-425-3298
131 Agricultural Science
611 S. 3rd Street
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