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INTAG 490

INTAG 490 is the capstone class for the International Agriculture (INTAG) minor. It is currently offered once annually, in Spring semester. It is open to all students at Penn State who want to complete the INTAG minor.
INTAG 490 students outside USDA's Foreign Ag Service, Washington, DC, April 2014

INTAG 490 students outside USDA's Foreign Ag Service, Washington, DC, April 2014

Course Description

This course is designed to meet the need for a capstone course within the International Agriculture (INTAG) minor. The course provides a range of experiential learning techniques including intensive reading and in-class discussion, practical experience through a group trip to the nation’s capital, and application of the international experiences encountered through the INTAG program. Included is course content designed to provide a holistic integration of the four main INTAG study areas (Socioeconomic and Communication Systems, Animal and Plant Sciences, Natural Resources and the Environment, and Food, Health, and Nutrition). Students will learn about the current state of international agriculture through recent articles and analyses and respond in-class discussions and through written response papers. The course also involves a class trip to major international development organizations in Washington, D.C. (US government, IFPRI, and various NGOs) to learn first-hand about current issues in international agriculture from people working in the sector. Students will also present and discuss their past (or intended) international agriculture experiences from their Penn State careers, sharing opinions about critical issues in international agriculture. Students will synthesize the knowledge they have obtained both from the course and their international agriculture experiences to complete final reports which outline their understanding of the current state of international agriculture. This course is designed to facilitate the development of students to be global citizens in the agricultural arena.

Required Textbooks

  • Shaw, D. J. (2009). Global Food and Agricultural Institutions. New York: Routledge Press.
  • Thurow, R. (2012). The last hunger season: A year in an African farm community on the brink of change. New York: PublicAffairs.
  • Weis, A. (2007). The Global Food Economy: the battle for the future of farming. Zed books.

Required Additional Readings

A wide range of journal and online articles, book chapters, and research reports will also required.  These will be available on the course ANGEL site or through the library.

Additional information 

The course is geared towards students in their junior or senior years. Evaluation consists of:

  • class participation (20%)
  • student-led presentation of materials (15%)
  • response papers to readings and D.C. trip (30%)
  • presentation of INTAG experiences (15%)
  • the completion of a final paper on their understanding of the current state of international agriculture (20%)

INTAG 490 is offered once every academic year in the Spring semester.

INTAG 490 is a core requirement for the International Agriculture minor. INTAG 100 is a prerequisite.