Agricultural Business

Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics

Agribusiness is a dynamic industry with a high degree of global and technological sophistication. The agribusiness sector includes companies that are on the cutting edge in the use of biotechnology, strategy, information systems, risk management, logistics and international trade. The study of agricultural business involves the application of business and economic principles to farming and ranching and related sectors of the general economy. Training in agricultural business includes courses in agricultural firm management, marketing farm products, farm credit and finance, agricultural prices and outlook, agricultural policy, management science, agricultural law, technical agriculture and the business aspects of industries serving agriculture. Surveys indicate that employers seek out graduates with expertise in communication, critical thinking, business management and quantitative analyses. Our program specifically develops each of these skills.

Many employment possibilities are open to students with training in agricultural business. Positions are available with businesses which process and market agricultural products, and with the large number of businesses that sell products and services to farmers and ranchers, such as fertilizer companies, farm machinery companies, banks, and farm credit institutions. Also, opportunities exist to operate and manage farms and ranches. In addition, federal and state governments employ persons with training in agricultural business. Many of our graduates work for regional, national, and even international agribusiness firms that market, process, and transport agricultural products. Other graduates work for companies that service agriculture by supplying inputs to producers. Agricultural credit institutions employ many of our graduates. Some of our graduates continue their education by pursuing graduate degrees or attending law school.

Agribusiness Management Concentration

The agribusiness sector of the economy, which produces and sells goods and services to farmers and ranchers on one hand, and processes and markets agricultural commodities on the other, is growing rapidly. In the United States, for every job in agricultural production, there are approximately three jobs in agriculture-related businesses. The MSU agribusiness management curriculum has established an excellent reputation with employers and is specifically designed for management training with emphasis on finance, accounting, and managerial economics in agriculture-related businesses and industries.

Farm and Ranch Management Concentration

For a student who expects to work in agricultural production and eventually own and operate a farm or ranch, the farm and ranch management option provides a vital set of management skills for success in undertaking the investment and complicated business aspects of farming and ranching. The future farm or ranch manager needs to be familiar with marketing, finance, business management, and the global agribusiness system in which production agriculture operates. Farm and ranch management is a strong academic program designed to provide marketing, management, and finance skills. This curriculum is supplemented with courses that emphasize technical agricultural issues.