Modern colleges of agriculture are often a mixture of traditional agricultural, natural resources, and other programs, which may lead to challenges for recruiting. During the past 10 years, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln enhanced recruiting in rural areas in response to stakeholders’ interests. As a result, CASNR graduates in agricultural programs from the smallest towns in Nebraska of <5,000 people
increased markedly, relative to trends of all other types of CASNR students. Almost 60% of graduates during 2005-2015 in agriculture majors were from towns of <5000 people; in contrast, only 27% of graduates from natural resources and 22% of graduates from other programs were from small towns; instead, 51% of natural resources students and 45% of students in other CASNR programs came from the largest Nebraska cities with <45,000 people. Male graduates were the majority of all types of academic programs in CASNR (agriculture: 64%, natural resources: 61%, other programs: 61%), and 94% of CASNR graduates were white. Demographic data analysis is critical to confirmation of successful, targeted recruiting plans aimed at the unique sets of students in a college of agriculture.
Keywords: recruiting, home town, retention, rural