Department History

Agriculture buildingThe Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology was established in 1925. It focused on farm finance, farm management and marketing, rural health, and extension education for rural areas. The curriculum expanded during the 1970s to meet the needs of students seeking jobs in commercial agriculture and agribusiness industries. In the 1980s, a course in agricultural law was added, and a new concentration was offered in international and domestic agricultural marketing. In the early 1990s, the Department revamped its program, with agricultural business becoming the primary focus. In 1992, the Global Marketing Support Services was formed to enable Arkansas producers to compete more effectively in international markets. The Rural Sociology program was moved to the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the fall of 1996. A new name, The Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, reflected the change in focus. The undergraduate curriculum was revamped to focus on agribusiness management and environmental issues, and now includes three academic concentrations: Agribusiness Management and Marketing (including Farm Business Management), Agricultural Pre-Law, and Agricultural Economics.