ISU receives 5th ranking in world for agriculture, forestry program


Melissa Kroksh/Iowa State Daily

This is the infographic stating Iowa State University is number 5 in world rankings.

Morgan Ball

Iowa State’s agriculture and forestry program has been ranked fifth in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, a British organization that measures employer and academic reputation, as well as scientific journal citations.

Five of the top 10 states in the rankings included Midwest states.

“Iowa State’s movement up the rankings list was a combination of employers commenting on the students who are coming out of the programs, the citing of research and the comments from other universities. It is a cumulative effect,” said Joe Colletti, senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Universities around the world vote for who they think are the top 10 universities, and the universities are not allowed to vote for themselves. The rankings are also measured by looking at the journals that are published by each university.

Iowa State has made a big impact in the number of citations that have been used from research done by ISU graduate programs and researchers.

Iowa State has a very motivated team of researchers, Colletti said. In the colleges of agriculture and forestry, there is an umbrella that covers extension, teaching and research.

“Everyone is putting their nose to the grindstone,” Colletti said. “All of the researchers are encouraged to find a project that has an end game. An example of the type of research projects include food, hunger, biofuels and environmental pollution.”

There is a continuous boom of enrollment in the College of Agriculture, and the demand for jobs in agriculture and forestry increase every year, Colletti said.

“Employers are recognizing the importance of higher education, and they like what students bring to their companies,” Colletti said.

Iowa State has the largest agriculture career fair. It has the third largest undergraduate program in the nation as well.

“[Iowa State] is a great agriculture college because we are a land grant university filled with great professors and academic advisers. [Iowa State] also has one of the best agriculture career fairs, which leads to better job placement rates,” said Kyle Johnson, junior in agriculture systems technology.

Employers attend the career fair looking for quality and well-rounded students to fill the job demand.

“Iowa State is a very well-known agriculture school because rather than focusing on one specific area, Iowa State hires professionals from all over the world and in all different areas of agriculture, which makes it easier for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world,” said Alan Johnson, sophomore in animal science.

There is a steady rise in the graduate program, too, and that plays a key role in getting more grants to help with research.   

“There are so many things that Iowa State does well,” Lee Herr, freshman in animal science. “I think it is a combination of the research that is done, the students’ willingness to learn and the professors that teach us. It takes a very good combination of all these and much more to be one of the top 10, and Iowa State University does it very well.”