Helping New Agricultural Leaders Hit the Bull’s-eye

Today’s agricultural leaders, educators and communicators have a moving target to hit in their industries. Information that once would have taken weeks and months to generate can now be found in a few minutes. Today’s communication and education professionals have instant access to nearly unlimited amounts of information which they can disseminate to the world in just seconds. It’s an exciting time, but keeping up with the latest tools and techniques can feel like aiming an arrow at a moving target while running on a treadmill!

To ensure tomorrow’s agricultural leaders, educators and communicators can better hit the technological bull’s-eye, the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) hopes to build two new state-of-the-art spaces for teaching, research and extension.

The first proposed space is 12,800 sq. ft. in the fourth building of the Agricultural and Life Sciences complex on west campus. If funded, planned construction includes eight laboratories and studios, including a communications laboratory equipped with studio and recording gear for agricultural communications and journalism activities; a curriculum development, evaluation and accountability suite for the development and testing of lessons and demonstrations; and an infographic and visualization laboratory equipped with technology to create digital designs for all phases of ALEC research. The groundbreaking for the building is planned for this fall.

The second proposed space will be 20,000 sq. ft. to house an Agricultural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Integration Laboratory offering faculty and students an applied research and skill-development facility. When funded, the lab will also give faculty the ability to conduct workshops and offer continuing education courses to agricultural science teachers and other industry professionals, as well provide the space and equipment to conduct meaningful faculty research.

“By providing our students and faculty an enriching environment to learn, explore and immerse themselves in the issues that face agriculture and our society, we are building the foundation that will shape the Aggie experience for the next generation of students, and provide them with the tools needed to find solutions for the betterment of our world,” said Dr. Jack Elliot, head of the ALEC department.

With steady growth in enrollment since 2009, ALEC is now the largest department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. With this growth also comes the need for more, and newer, spaces. Current agricultural sciences efforts are housed in an 80-year-old building 12 miles from campus. As part of the Department’s Grand Vision Campaign, these possible new spaces will assuage use of aged structures.

“We’re not just hoping to build a structure,” Elliot said. “We’re providing the necessary equipment, technology and collaborative opportunities to conduct meaningful research and to continue to produce the best students to lead the agricultural industry into the future.”

Without additional state funding, outside support for the $6 million ALEC Grand Vision building projects is essential. Naming opportunities exist for both the Agricultural STEM Integration Laboratory and the new Agriculture and Life Sciences complex building.

Visit to contribute online now to the ALEC Grand Vision.

To learn about naming opportunities or how you can support ALEC’s expansion with a gift of an endowment to the Texas A&M Foundation, contact Torii Kapavik ’11 at (800) 392-3310, (979) 847-9314 or

Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities.

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