Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

April 1994


Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 35 (1994), pages 1-5. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


As early as 1976, the mission of vocational and technical agricultural education included the charge for educators “to develop the abilities needed to exercise and follow effective leadership in fulfilling occupational, social and civic responsibilities” (United States Office of Education, 1976, p. 4). In 1989 the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Education reiterated this objective in Goal 3: “To amplify and expand the ‘whole person’ concept of education, including leadership, personal and interpersonal skills,” (National Summit on Agricultural Education, 1989, p. 4).

In some institutions the offering of leadership and human resource management/development courses by postsecondary agricultural education departments have fanned-out beyond departmental majors to include students from across the college and the institution (Foster and Dodge, 199 1). Despite acceptance by the profession that it is the charge of agricultural education to provide leadership and human resource management/development (HRM/D) instruction and conventional wisdom that course offerings in this area have been widespread and successful, research had not been conducted at the post-secondary level to determine the precise breadth and nature of such offerings. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the actual nature and circumstances of these activities.