Kohl Centre

In the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, students get a world-class education from excellent professors in the classroom. But a classroom isn't the only place AAEC students learn! Students can pursue a variety of opportunities that allow them to apply and extend concepts and tools learned in the classroom.

Beyond the classroom: student opportunities


Commodities Investing by Students (COINS) is a select group of AAEC students that invest $500,000 annually in commodity markets through exchange traded funds and notes and covered call options and protective puts. The group’s mission is to provide opportunities for Virginia Tech students to gain hands on educational experiences in trading and investing within the agricultural commodities market while seeking a positive risk adjusted return on investment for the Virginia Tech Foundation.

For more information, visit the COINS website www.coins.aaec.vt.edu or contact the advisor Olga Isengildina Massa

Kohl Centre 

The Kohl Centre has a dual mission: (1) To provide clients from agribusiness and other sectors of the economy with business, financial, marketing and management advice, using the resources of VT students and faculty, in the entrepreneurial spirit of Dr. Dave Kohl; and (2) To facilitate action-oriented, immersive professional development project opportunities for student teams in response to identified clientele needs. For more information visit http://www.kohlcentre.aaec.vt.edu or contact Kim Morgan.

AAEC students can conduct research with faculty through independent studies.  Often student work one-on-one with faculty on topics as diverse as managing agricultural price risk to international development.  Students earn academic credit as determined by their faculty advisor.   Undergraduate research often leads to published papers.   For more information about current and future opportunities, please contact Frenda Wall.


AAEC students prepare a marketing plan for an agricultural related product for the National Agri-Marketing Association student competition. Students start meeting in the fall to choose the product and receive credit hours in the spring when they compete at the national competition. For more information visit the NAMA website.

Quiz Bowl

AAEC students compete in the annual Academic or Quiz Bowl competition hosted at the Southern Agriculture Economics Assocation (SAEA) meetings every winter. The double elimination Jeopardy-like tournament tests the teams on their agriculture economics knowledge. The members prepare by discussing questions, researching, making their own questions, and playing against each other. For more information contact advisor Kurt Stephenson and by visiting the SS-AAEA Academic Bowl website.

Qualified students can earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in five years. This option allows undergraduate students with strong academic records to take graduate level courses during their senior year with the courses counting toward both their B.S. and M.S. in Applied Economics. Students receive a B.S. in the fourth year and a M.S. in the fifth year. 

Process of admission

  • In order to gain admission to the program, students must be juniors, about to enter their senior year
  • Applicants must have attained in-major GPAs of at least 3.5 and overall GPAs of at least 3.2
  • Applicants must complete a formal application to the Graduate School at Virginia Tech

Once accepted, students may double-count a maximum of 12 credit hours toward undergraduate and graduate degrees (each credit hour counts toward both degrees at the same time): a maximum of six of those from 4000-level courses, and all others from graduate-level courses.Interested student should contact the Undergraduate Program Director for more information.

Ag Econ/NAMA Club

The Ag Econ/NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Club is dedicated to providing an environment of fellowship and leadership in which members pursue professional, educational, social and team work development through interaction and cooperation with fellow members, faculty, university, alumni, and professional resources in order to empower themselves with opportunities in the ever changing fields of agribusiness, agrimarketing, and applied agricultural economics.

For more information about the club, contact the current advisors Kurt Stephenson and Normand Adams

Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech

The Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech is a chapter that provides students interested in agriculture and rural communities leadership, educational, legislative, networking, and social opportunities. The chapter is in association with Virginia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federations. For more information, contact the advisors Rachel Kohl

View other student organizations in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

We encourage students to pursue summer or semester abroad opportunities.  Personal and professional growth comes from understanding different cultural perspectives and economic systems. 

Virginia Tech facilitates student education abroad opportunities at hundreds of universities around the world.  The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences also offers specific education abroad opportunities with an emphasis on agriculture.

AAEC hosts two education abroad opportunities.

Summer Study Abroad in Australia: Environment, Land, Trade, and Culture

Students get to see most of Australia’s largest cities, some of the world’s best beaches, the outback, and the Great Barrier Reef. The study will focus on land use, trade, and food policy. The group will meet with university faculty, government agencies, and the private sector to develop an insight into policy alternatives. For more information  or contact Leon Geyer.

Sign up has closed for the 2013 summer trip. The next trip to Australia will be in summer of 2015.

Sustainable Development Research Internships: Ecuador

Six undergraduate research internships in sustainable development are available, funded by a Virginia Tech research project in the Chimbo River watershed in Bolivar Province, Ecuador. Each intern will spend five to six weeks during summer of 2013 working collaboratively with the Jeffrey Alwang, Darrell Bosch, or George Norton

Other Opportunities

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has numerous other education aboard program opportunities.

The university also has opportunities for students in Virginia Tech's education abroad program.


Frenda Haynie
Academic Advisor
309 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

AAEC: By the Numbers

  • Number of faculty: 30
  • Undergraduate students: 280
  • Graduate students: 39