AEC students studying abroad in Panama

Washington D.C./Tallahassee

Spring 2019

During the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to learn skills and methods to effectively communicate agricultural and life sciences issues to policymakers. This special section of AEC 3065: Issues in Agricultural and Life Sciences (and will be co-taught as a graduate student course) will help students equip themselves with the tools needed to communicate with policymakers and influencers. Students will spend a day in Tallahassee prior to the start of the 2019 legislative session to meet with agricultural lobbyists, state agencies and departments, and policymakers. From March 2-6 (during UF’s spring break), students will travel to Washington, DC to meet with policymakers, lobbyists from national agricultural organizations, and agency heads. If you have an interest in policy, lobbying, or political office, this is class you won’t want to miss.
Undergraduate and Graduate Course
The course will be listed as a special section of AEC 3065 for the spring. For students who have taken AEC 3065 previously, you can register for AEC 4932: Effectively Communicating Agricultural and Life Sciences Policy Issues. For graduate students, the course will be available as a special section of AEC 6932: Effectively Communicating Agricultural and Life Sciences Policy Issues.
Course Structure
The class will meet weekly, most likely on Friday mornings prior to the Washington, DC trip. Guest speakers, representing local and state policymakers, will provide insight into how to communicate to policymakers. The mandatory trip to Tallahassee will take place one day in the first two weeks of February (day is yet to be determined). The dates in DC are FIRM: March 2-6. Following the DC trip, the class will meet less frequently through the rest of the semester.
Students will be assessed a $900 administrative program fee for the course when they register and pay for spring courses. The administrative program fee will cover hotel, transportation in Tallahassee and DC, cultural activities in DC, and most meals. The administrative fee does NOT cover transportation to/from Washington, DC or to/from the hotel to the airport if students fly to DC. Students will also need to pay for some meal in DC. Students will stay at the Hyatt Place Washington, DC hotel, less than two blocks from the National Mall.
Only 20 students (total undergraduate and graduate students) will be able to take this course, so register EARLY. This course will be on a first-come, first-registered basis. Students from any major at UF are eligible.
Tentative Agenda in DC
  • March 2 (Saturday): Students arrive and check in to hotel
  • March 3 (Sunday): Tour Newseum, “free” time in the afternoon to visit National Mall (including Smithsonian), Monuments by Moonlight bus tour
  • March 4 (Monday): “Lobbyist Day”: Meet with lobbyists from such organizations (not all are confirmed) as: American Farm Bureau, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Animal Agriculture Alliance, CropLife. Tour of Library of Congress or Supreme Court.
  • March 5 (Tuesday): “Legislator/Agency Day”: Meet with legislative staff, legislators, and agencies: US Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, House Agriculture Committee. Tour of U.S. Capitol
  • March 6 (Wednesday): Students leave
  • And much more!
For More Information
Contact Dr. Ricky Telg ( or 352-273-2094).

United States Capitol Building

Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow members in Tallahassee, Florida

Lincoln Memorial at night

Costa Rica

Summer C 2019, June 21-29

Join us in AEC 3065, 4932, and 6932, Issues in Agricultural and Life Sciences, as we study abroad in Costa Rica! This Department of Agricultural Education & Communication course is designed to educate students about major issues in agricultural and life sciences (ALS) and to expose students to a variety of methods used to effectively communicate, inform, and influence decisions about these issues in “real world” ways. One of the major components of this course will be the study abroad opportunity to Costa Rica during Summer C break week (June 21 - 29, 2019). While in Costa Rica, you will engage in the Costa Rican culture while learning about food production, food security, capacity building, water quantity & quality, natural resource conservation, biodiversity, climate change, labor, urban/rural interactions and more.

This program takes place in San Jose, Manual Antonio National Park and Beach, Naranjo, and Tortuga Island (Gulf of Nicoya), Costa Rica.

Visit agricultural sites including a banana plantation, a coffee plantation, a sheep and Simmental cattle farm, water and wildlife experiences, academic lectures, tourism and cultural activities.

Undergraduate and Graduate Course
The course will be listed as a special section of AEC 3065 for summer C. For students who have taken AEC 3065 previously, you can register for AEC 4932: Exploring Agricultural Issues in Costa Rica. For graduate students, the course will be available as a special section of AEC 6932: Exploring Agricultural Issues in Costa Rica.

Undergraduate Fee: $2,678
Graduate Fee: $2,926 
A $375 nonrefundable deposit toward the total cost of the program is due at the time of application. The remaining fees are due no later than 45 days prior to departure. If you receive financial aid, you can defer payment until it disburses. Deferment decisions will be based on the amount of aid to be received. 

This cost includes tuition for 3 GPA credits at UF, all in-country travel, lodging and meals, international health insurance and emergency medical assistance. It does not include round-trip airfare to Costa Rica, additional personal travel and personal expenses.

Financial Aid
Most financial aid that you would receive on campus during the spring can be applied toward the cost of this study abroad program. Additionally, CALS scholarships are available. UFIC recommends that you speak with your financial aid advisor about your financial aid eligibility for study abroad. More information can be found at Student Financial Affairs.

This program is open to all students in good standing with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Students can major in anything, although priority will be given to AEC majors.

Click here for a tentative Agenda for Costa Rica.

Application Information
2019 Application Deadline: March 15, 2019
Apply online:

For More Information
Contact J.C. Bunch ( or 352-294-2226) or Becky Raulerson ( or 352-273-2751)

Student holding a pig in Belize