Many university students in agriculture are uninformed and uninterested in global issues. They recognize that Brazil is a threat to soybean sales. They know that many Europeans oppose imports of GMO corn from the US, and that Japanese bans on US beef have hurt the livestock industry. However, they are often naive about the background to these issues. They do not see the need to be better informed, instead blaming the problems on “stupid” policies in other countries. They do not see career opportunities that can be made available for them if they increase their skills and knowledge in dealing with international issues.
College courses should help students to better understand the key issues affecting them. They should prepare students for current and future careers which are increasingly impacted by globalization in all of its manifestations. To help our students, we need a tool that provides a profile of international effectiveness for those in agricultural majors. That tool needs to describe the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that make a college graduate in agriculture more competent and more connected with our world. We need an instrument that can measure changes in attitudes so that we know if our courses and educational activities are helping students become more world-minded.