Global awareness of critical agronomic and related issues should be an essential component of today’s agronomy courses. Our goal is to catalyze the education of young people who will be technically competent players as well as effective participants in the search for efficient food systems to feed a growing human population. Basic knowledge about crop and soil science, capacity to design efficient production systems, and use of an agroecology perspective to integrate information from biophysical and socioeconomic domains are valuable in a comprehensive undergraduate education. Yet they are not sufficient to prepare people to operate effectively in a complex global economic environment. To further complicate the picture, we are moving from two centuries of rather favorable and benign climate that contributed to relatively consistent improvement in agricultural production into a new century characterized by uncertainty and climate change. In this complex reality, graduates must become adept at problem identification and develop a capacity to look for solutions to root causes as they design future systems, and not be satisfied with learning menus of practices and bandaid type solutions. Focus on current practices may help solve today’s location-specific challenges in local fields and farms, but will not prepare students to understand conditions in other places that are each unique in natural resource endowment, economy, and culture. It is essential to focus on whole systems, and also informative to learn from other areas of the globe where similar problems may have been confronted and solved in the past, and identify clues to help solve future challenges that will face us in the Midwest and across the globe. We surveyed students in three undergraduate agronomy courses – Soil Resources, Resource Efficient Crop Management, Agroecology – to evaluate their opinions on international content and examples used by instructors. We found that students identify easily with the basic content of courses, and many find examples from both the Midwest agroecozone and from other countries to be valuable for their learning. There is some pushback from local students on the examples from tropical zones, with concern that they will never need this information. Students in agroecology are involved in project work that is focused on current and emerging global issues facing agriculture and food systems in a complex global system and context of changing climate. We will use our observations in class and qualitative survey comments to further broaden the scope of undergraduate courses and make them as relevant as possible to the backgrounds and interests of today’s student population who will be working in a century of change.