Debates have been shown to be a successful tool to prepare students to synthesize knowledge and become active learners. When designed properly, debates are an engaging way to teach students how to discuss controversial topics without giving into their own bias. In this study, a semester-long debate assignment was created where students debated the opposite of their opinion on four controversial agricultural topics: food production systems, genetically modified organisms, confined animal feeding operations, and diet preferences. Students were surveyed at the beginning and end of the assignment. Overall, students showed greater understanding of the topic by the end of the semester. They also reported that debating the opposite of their opinion was interesting and broadened their horizons.