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Agricultural Business Management

Program Highlights

Degree Options

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Bachelor of Technology (BT)

Bachelor of Science (BS)

 

Career opportunities in agriculture are growing all over the world and employers from every part of the food and fiber system look to SUNY Cobleskill’s Agricultural Business Management program for talented graduates ready to be leaders in their fields.

Business activity in agriculture or "agribusiness" ranges from providing supplies and services to farmers through the actual on-farm production of food and fiber, to the processing and distribution of those products. Graduates from this program also find careers in agricultural education, agricultural policy and advocacy, agricultural communications, marketing and economic development. This broad-based program provides enough flexibility to allow each student to custom design a truly unique educational experience, yet retains the essential knowledge base which ensures successful attainment of long-term goals. These goals may include graduate study, employment in an agribusiness or self-employment.

Agricultural Business programming at SUNY Cobleskill is designed to provide students a valuable education through hands-on production and business management courses.

In addition to the Ag Business core curriculum, students can take advantage of the state-of-the-art on-campus farm facilities through electives in Animal Science, Agronomy, Horticulture and Agricultural Engineering. Ag Business students also have annual for-credit travel opportunities, both international and domestic, to expose them to the global nature of the ag business complex.

Core Courses

  • Intro to Ag Economics and Agribusiness
  • Marketing Ag Products
  • Ag Production Management
  • Operations Management
  • Ag Financial Management
  • Financial Accounting

Sample Electives & Upper Level Courses

  • Intro to Food Systems
  • Commodity Supply & Marketing
  • Farm Appraisal
  • Ag Sales & Promotion
  • Food System Regulation
  • Ag & Environmental Policy
  • Agricultural Credit
  • Advanced Ag Business Management
  • Quantitative Methods

Employers look for our students first because they know that graduates from SUNY Cobleskill have significant practical agricultural experience and learned management principles from a program that values industry partnerships and market-relevant education.

Opportunities include:

  • Sales & marketing for agri-supply firms like consulting, chemical, seed, machinery and other businesses
  • Farm management and entrepreneurship
  • Agricultural policy-making and implementation through the USDA's Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service or Rural Development offices; or, through various state departments of agriculture
  • Agricultural advocacy via Farm Bureau and other organizations
  • Value-added agricultural production with food and beverage processors
  • Secondary school agricultural teachers
  • Cooperative Extension field agents and educators

 

Recent graduates are now employed at a variety of organizations including:

  • Dupont Pioneer
  • Farm Credit East
  • Growmark
  • DeLaval
  • Great Plains Agriculture
  • USDA
  • Bright Farms
  • A.J. Trucco, Inc.
  • Nationwide
  • Helena Chemical
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Agribusiness
  • West Virginia University
  • NY Farm Bureau
  • Vivint Solar
  • FFR Cooperative (Virginia)
  • Cooperative Extension in NY, VA and CT

Each year, students in the AGBU program can participate in a faculty-led Field Studies experience, which entails a trip to a domestic or foreign location and visits with a wide variety of farm and agri-businesses there. Past trips have included China, Germany, Ireland, Costa Rica, California and the American Midwest.

“We were all from different backgrounds and ages yet shared the same passion for agriculture, which made the trip even more interesting and enjoyable. I learned a lot about agriculture, how different societies operate and would recommend any student to seriously consider study abroad.” - Ashley Celestin, Hungary/Austria trip participant 

Internships provide invaluable life lessons and an excellent head start into the professional world for our students. 

All BT students are required to complete a 600-hour capstone internship (12 academic credits). Internships very often turn directly into full-time job offers. AGBU students have completed internships with:

  • Growmark FS
  • Helena Chemical
  • NYS Thoroughbred Breeders Association
  • NYS Department of Ag & Markets
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Cooperative Extension services across the country
  • DeLaval, New Zealand and U.S.
  • DuPont Pioneer
  • CaroVail, Inc.
  • Northwestern Mutual Financial Management
  • Farm Credit East
  • Nationwide Agribusiness
  • Farm Family Insurance
  • Many livestock, dairy, crop and fiber farm operations across the U.S.
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • Beechnut 

(not an exhaustive list)

AGBU has formal agreements in place with Virginia Tech's Agricultural Education graduate programs and agreements with Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness programs at Kansas State, Delaware Valley and West Virginia University. 

AGBU graduates have historically enrolled in the following types of grad programs:

  • MBA
  • MAB (Masters in Agricultural Business)
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agricultural Communications
  • Agricultural Education

Through their courses, students work with real businesses and entrepreneurs on business development and marketing projects. SUNY Cobleskill's Farm and Food Business Incubator provides access to a large number and wide variety of food and fiber entrepreneurs, all with unique needs that make for invaluable applied learning experiences.

AGBU students also staff/manage Schoharie Fresh and the campus's forthcoming ag retail facility, through which they will conduct market research and retail pilots on behalf of incubator clients and other collaborating farms/businesses.

The Agricultural Business Club is for students interested in Agricultural Marketing activities including building relationships with agribusiness professionals and competing nationally on a food marketing plan.

Each year, select members are chosen to represent the college in the National Agri-Marketing Association competition; the NAMA team competes annually with colleges and universities from across the country.

The Ag Business faculty at SUNY Cobleskill are student-centered and committed to excellence in teaching. These award-winning individuals have tremendous practical industry experience and teach with the objective of molding tomorrow’s agricultural professionals.

EvansJason R. Evans, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
518-255-5643 • evansjr@cobleskill.edu
Dr. Evans received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from West Virginia University and has served on SUNY Cobleskill’s faculty since 2009. His teaching interests include agricultural economics, food systems, agricultural policy, environmental issues and operations management. Dr. Evans advises several student organizations on campus and has been instrumental in developing a number of grant opportunities and new programs at the College.

 

WinterSophie T. Winter, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
518-255-5192 • winterst@cobleskill.edu 
A native of southern France, Dr. Winter joined the Agricultural Business Management team at SUNY Cobleskill in 2014. She received a Masters degree in Agribusiness from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State. Her teaching interests include food systems, marketing, small business development and entrepreneurship. Dr. Winter is faculty advisor for the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), a student organization that competes nationally each year in marketing plan competitions.

 

Stephen WeirStephen Weir
Assistant Professor
518-255-5617 • weirsr@cobleskill.edu