UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Agricultural Business

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Our Program

Agricultural BusinessThe Agricultural Business major combines elements of technical agriculture, business, and economics into a powerful and comprehensive course of study. The major is well-suited for students who plan on a career in farming or agribusiness. The management skills you will develop will help land your first job after college and equip you for advancement in your chosen profession. In addition, the curriculum is designed to enhance student learning by incorporating hands-on projects in most courses rather than learning strictly from a book.  The major also encourages students to take coursework from a variety of fields – in addition to their business and economics courses students take select courses in animal and food science, plant and soil science, and agricultural engineering – that give them a strong foundation in technical agriculture.

In Demand

Graduates of the agricultural business program are in high demand and they are obtaining jobs that pay well. Surveys by our career services indicate nearly 100% employment rates and starting salaries averaging above the median for college graduates. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that there is a growing shortage of college graduates to fill the job needs of agricultural business. The USDA estimates 25,700 annual openings for management and business graduates in the agricultural, food and renewable energy sector between 2010-2015, yet only 12,100 qualified students will be available from agricultural and natural resource programs.

Beyond preparation for your first job, this major prepares you for a successful career. Each year UW-River Falls recognizes one or two distinguished graduates of the university. Since 2003, four of the seven people who have been honored with this award have been Ag Business graduates.

Student Involvement

In addition to high quality teaching and great career opportunities, the agricultural business program offers outstanding academic and networking opportunities to our students. The department has a strong record of engaging students in applied research projects, many sponsored by regional agricultural businesses. They also sponsor two student clubs, which offer opportunities to build networks with fellow students and with professionals in these fields.

Did you know?

  • The coursework in technical agriculture, already mentioned above, this is something the industry especially likes about the UW-River Falls program.   
  • Multiple faculty in the program have Extension appointments, this means they stay current in their field as they work with agribusinesses and producers on an ongoing basis.

Global. Innovative. Excellent.

The Agricultural Business faculty have a strong track-record in obtaining grants. They receive outside funding to support some research/outreach/Extension work, which can often involve students. At larger schools, undergraduate students would likely compete with grad students for these opportunities, if offered this opportunity at all.

  • Ag Star Scholars is a program to which juniors can apply and, if selected, they receive a $2,000 stipend, work on an applied research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. They present their results to the top management of Ag Star Financial Services.
  • The department also sponsors students’ attendance at youth leadership programs (e.g. Agricultural Futures of America, College Conference on Cooperatives) that have strong industry ties.
  • The department has an active internship program and credits earned by students in this professional experience count toward their degree. The Department works hard to connect our students with industry professionals throughout their college career.  

 

Graduates have been recruited by some of the top agricultural businesses:

Land O’ Lakes

Cargill

CHS

Farm Credit Services

US Bank

Growmark