International Agricultural Development (IAD) Major

The goal of international agricultural development is to improve food production, nutrition, marketing, and health in less technically advanced countries. Students in this major are trained in technical areas of agriculture that can be applied to the problems of world hunger and health.

There is a need for trained individuals who can translate and apply agricultural technology to problems of food production, nutrition, marketing, and health in less technically advanced countries. Students interested in contributing to the solution of problems of world hunger and health may wish to investigate the major in International Agricultural Development. This major provides students the opportunity to develop competence in various technical areas of agriculture. Majors select their areas of technical specialization from any of the broad fields of interest in agricultural and environmental sciences, such as agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, community development, food science, plant science, or environmental and resource sciences.

Students interested in international work also need to develop those personal qualities necessary for effective performance in developing areas of the world. This kind of person must be perceptive, sensitive, understanding and confident. To expand this awareness and the understanding of the broad cultural, social, and economic environments in which agriculture operates in particular areas outside of the United States, courses in social sciences, humanities, and economics are required.

The Program. Principle subjects of study within the major are Agricultural Production, Economic Development, Environmental Issues, Nutrition, Rural Communities, and Trade and Commodity Development. Courses are in social sciences, humanities, and economic environments in which agriculture operates in countries outside the United States.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate the basic principles of plant biology, soil science, human nutrition, microeconomics, sociology, agricultural production, and community development.
  • Articulate the fundamental principles of at least one area of specialization from the following: Environmental Issues; Rural Communities, Trade and Economic Development; Plant or Animal Production.
  • Understand and utilize a variety of project design, and implementation and assessment tools including: SWOT Analysis, Problem trees, etc.; Logical Framework Models; Other modern tools in this realm
  • Be familiar with the theories and principles, and current trends in international agricultural development.
  • Critically analyze successful and unsuccessful development projects, and make decisions by drawing logical conclusions based on sound academic principles and established facts.
  • Communicate academic information in writing and in oral presentations to a variety of audiences.  
  • Propose and defend a novel project of relevance to international agricultural development.

Faculty and Internships 
The student who chooses IAD as a major will be taught by a world-renowned faculty and will follow an impressive list of alumni, many of whom hold leadership positions in agriculture around the world. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis ranks among the top institutions in the country for research contributions in the field of agriculture in developing nations.

Most professors in International Agricultural Development have recent experience in their professional/technical field in a developing nation. This first-hand knowledge of the agricultural conditions, culture, and practices of developing nations broadens the scope of information available in the classroom. Students in the major also benefit from the many international visitors who come to campus each year, including a large number of international students who are interested in the development of agriculture in their native county.

International Agricultural Development majors are encouraged to gain experiences in a foreign country as soon as possible in their college career. Many students do so during the summer and enroll in the UC Davis Education Abroad Program. Recently students have studied and worked in France, India, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, and El Salvador.

Career Alternatives. The study of international agricultural development prepares a student for a variety of careers. Some students choose service through the Peace Corps. Others seek employment in international trade, while others choose to work for a governmental or private agency in a foreign nation. Religious groups and organizations also employ university-trained individuals for agricultural work in conjunction with missions and other types of human service work overseas. The major is also preparation for further graduate work in agricultural development.

Major Advisor

Angie Nguyen 

Faculty Advisor

Amanda Crump