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Agricultural Business and Management - Overview


Agricultural business and management programs teach people to run businesses that make animal and plant products. Students learn accounting and business management. They learn to sell products and services. They also receive instruction in agriculture.

Do you like corn on the cob? Double bacon cheeseburgers? Apple pie? Chances are, you like all three. Once summer hits, corn is easy to come by. And you can certainly get a hamburger or a slice of pie at any time of the year. Yet, do you know that the ear of corn you slathered in butter and devoured on the 4th of July was grown hundreds or thousands of miles away in South Dakota? (Unless, of course, you live there.) Or that the bacon came from pork raised in Iowa? And the apples in that buttery pie are from Washington State? The fact is, most farmers raise crops and livestock for distribution all over the country, and even all over the world.

When you plan to manage agricultural production, you need to understand food science and the marketplace. In this program, you can combine your studies in agricultural science with business management, economics, technology, and marketing. Your business courses teach you basic economic principles as they apply to agriculture. You learn about consumer demand, environmental policy, and laws regarding food production and sales. You also learn about crop production and food and livestock management.

With a degree in agricultural business and management, you can work for many different organizations. Most likely, you'll work for a large food company. You can work in marketing, production, or sales. Many people with this degree work in the financial sector. You can work in banks that specialize in lending to farms and related businesses. You can even work as a commodities trader, trading grain or pork futures on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade! In addition, you can work for government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Food and Drug Administration.

Every state has a land grant college that offers agricultural science programs. Many other colleges and universities also offer degrees or courses in agriculture. When two-year colleges offer certificate and associate degrees, students can often transfer the credits to a four-year school. Master's degrees typically take five or six years of full-time study after high school. Doctoral degree programs typically take about three to five years after the master's degree.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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