Offered every few years, Agriculture Policy and Leadership (ACE 291) covers current policy issues impacting agriculture and the legislative and rulemaking process that determines those policies. This class culminates in a trip to Washington D. C. over spring break for an immersive experience in policy creation. 

Prior to traveling to the nation’s capital, students develop leadership skills that are invaluable to those involved in policy creation. For the first eight weeks of the course, students learn how to prepare and deliver testimony, be interviewed by a member of the Illinois media on that information and learn the stages of policy development. There are numerous presentations by the course instructors and guest lecturers that are followed by questions and answers and the opportunity to engage in a discussion.

Upon arrival in Washington D.C., students interact with legislators, federal agencies, organization leaders and representatives of the international community to better understand the policy making process and the issues moving through it.

Student Expectations

This experiential learning course is ideal for juniors or seniors looking to gain intimate knowledge of how polices can be shaped and what impact they can have on industries and people. Through this course students can expect to develop their leadership skills, understand the personal relationship skills, public speaking and communication skills utilized in public policy, and hone their critical thinking abilities.

Attendance is paramount in this course. Students are expected to present and participate in all class sessions and all scheduled education events. 


Students wishing to enter the course are asked to submit a brief statement of their interest in the class and their expectations of what they hope to get out of their participation to Chaya Sandler. To learn more and to apply for Agriculture Policy and Leadership in Washington D.C., visit the university’s course explorer.