Featured Online Agribusiness MBA School
Ashford University - MBA - Business Economics
As consumers become increasingly aware of the origins of their food, and states rally to confront the need for sustainable farming practices, interest in the business of agriculture and food production continues to grow. An online Master of Business Administration in Agribusiness bridges both business and agricultural knowledge by combining general courses inherent to the online MBA in addition to offering best practices for agricultural management in the 21st century.
MBA agribusiness online programs offer students exposure to marketing, supply chain management and agricultural policy, among other topics related to agricultural production and distribution. As a result, schools with the best online agribusiness MBA rankings will teach students the skills to successfully understand agribusiness from the point of view of food producers and consumers to policy advocates and lawmakers.
An agribusiness MBA online is an ideal fit for students who are interested in food policy, agricultural management and marketing.
Many online MBA agribusiness students additionally have the following traits:
The time it takes to earn an agribusiness MBA degree online is comparable to the time it takes to earn other MBAs online. Two years of full time education is typically required to earn this degree. However, students are able to earn the MBA at their own pace at some schools that have part-time or accelerated programs.
An undergraduate degree is typically required before students can gain admission to online MBA agribusiness programs. A bachelor’s degree in related fields including business administration, agriculture, environmental science, and business may be preferred by some schools that have an MBA agribusiness online program.
In addition to requiring students to have a bachelor’s degree, many online MBA in agribusiness programs base admission on the following criteria:
Students who are earning their online Master of Business Administration in Agribusiness will begin their first years of study with courses that offer an overview of the agriculture industry, as well as general business, so that students may integrate what they learn in each area. These first-year courses include decision-making, economics for food systems and agribusiness, strategic marketing, financial management and operations management.
In the second half of the online MBA in agribusiness program, students will gain specialized knowledge on food policy, food economics at the macroeconomic scale, risk management, food trade, business ethics and international markets. Many accredited agribusiness MBA schools online will also require students to complete a residency or internship in the second year, which will offer hands-on opportunities to apply knowledge in a real-world agricultural setting.
In addition to coursework, internships are also completed by some students in online agribusiness MBA programs. These internships can be very useful. Through them, students get an opportunity to put their learning into practical use. They also often make useful business contacts.
Books that might be on point for students interested in agribusiness MBA careers are:
1. Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness (Lisa M. Hamilton) – Through interviews and narrative, the author provides a glimpse into the lives of three farmers who have found success by taking alternative approaches to farming and agriculture.
2. You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise (Joel Salatin) – This book addresses the joys and challenges of owning and operating a small family farm in today’s booming agricultural environment.
3. Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment (David Kirby) – In this book, an investigative journalist explores the sustainability of current farm practices, offering a word of caution to graduates of agribusiness MBA online programs about the depletion of natural resources that has partly resulted from industrial agriculture.
4. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929 (Paul Keith Conkin) – This book offers an historical perspective on the change in agricultural practices over the past 80 years, including positive changes in food security since the introduction of industrial farming.
5. Agriculture for Beginners (Charles William Burkett) – This revised edition of a popular anthology dedicated to agriculture offers a history of agriculture practice, in addition to nuts-and-bolts information about soil and crop rotation.
Graduates of top online agribusiness MBA schools can pursue careers in agricultural management, marketing management and lobbying, all of which employed over one million people in 2010. While the average agribusiness MBA salary is approximately $60,000, salaries for various specializations are as follows:
The job outlook for students graduating from online MBA agribusiness programs is expected to <a href=”http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/farmers-ranchers-and-other-agricultural-managers.htm#tab-1”>decline by 8%</a> by the year 2020. This steep decline is partly due to advances in technology that continue to phase out manual workers. However, as many smaller farms continue to go out of business or become consolidated and as larger corporations gain a greater hold on the agricultural market share, the number of management positions within these companies may grow. Graduates of MBA online agribusiness programs will be expected to utilize creativity and forward-thinking management techniques to maintain the strength of the profession and to keep existing farms solvent.
Many employers want graduates who have studied from a program that has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accredited agribusiness MBA programs are believed to provide students with a quality education.