Attracting non-agricultural students into agricultural courses is challenging because many do not think agriculture is relevant to them. A course was developed entitled 'Terror in the Food Supply' to attract a diverse group of students into an agricultural venue to increase dialog between agricultural and non-agricultural majors. The course has been
taught on a yearly basis since 2007. Students were surveyed at the beginning of each semester and asked questions about their class status and majors, how they found out about the course, what attracted them to the course, what they expected to gain from the course, number and types of courses they had completed, and their understanding of the 'farm to fork' food supply system in the US. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance and regression to establish yearly trends. The percentage of non-agricultural majors increased from 8 to 52% and the number of students enrolled increased from 12 to 33 over a four-year period. Fewer students had an understanding of agriculture as the class grew in size but students who had three or more college-level science courses increased from 5 to 50% over time. Students were attracted to the course because of the subject matter, and the percentage learning about the course from their advisor or a University webpage increased from 0 to 50% with time. Those who learned about the course from friends decreased from 75 to 30% over time. We were successful at attracting non-agriculture majors by applying science to current events.
attracting non-agricultural students, terror in the food supply, terrorism