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Online Agribusiness Management Courses

Curriculum Details

56–59 credit hours required in the major

SMSU’s agribusiness management courses focus on an array of business concepts, all rooted in agriculture and farm management. You’ll take 20 online courses to complete the major—study marketing, accounting, and other competency areas to position yourself as a leader capable of delivering results in agribusiness and numerous other fields.

In addition to the core agribusiness management courses, you’ll complete an Agricultural Finance concentration that explores banking and finance principles. The concentration includes three online courses, and you can gain hands-on experience by selecting an optional internship.

Core Courses


AGBU 101 is a required course for SMSU Agribusiness Majors. The course should be taken in the freshman year or in the first year of transfer. This course introduces the goals and student learning outcomes of the Agribusiness major and SMSUs Liberal Education Plan. Students use the course to identify career goals, relate those goals to their academic choices, and create electronic program portfolio to assess progress in achieving program goals and student learning outcomes.
Budgeting and financial analysis are used to study how to maximize profit and efficiency in resource use for a farming operation. Microcomputer spreadsheets and other programs are used for class projects.
Analysis of farm prices and the effect of supply, demand and institutional forces on farm income and farm income policy.
A comprehensive look at all facets of extending agricultural and agribusiness loans, from analysis of the financial statements of agricultural enterprises to dealing with problem loans. Emphasizes general principles of banking management and evaluation, fulfillment of credit needs, and uses of capital from the perspective of both borrowers and lenders.
This course will describe and evaluate past and future policies developed to deal with income distribution, resource use and changes in technology in the food and agriculture system.

AGBU 495 is a required course for SMSU Agribusiness Majors. Students use electronic portfolios to evaluate their academic accomplishments and career readiness. Students evaluate and communicate the content of their portfolios using the goals and student learning outcomes of the Agribusiness program. Performance evaluation also includes SMSUs Liberal Education Plan Rubrics for written and speech communication, information literacy, and critical thinking. Agribusiness students systematically analyze and communicate what they have learned in their degree program, and synthesize those results to create valuable plans for their future careers after degree completion.

Introduction to supply and demand analysis; study of competition and monopoly power; resource allocation, pricing and the market system; business and labor regulation; and income distribution.

This course requires a mathematical background including two years of high school algebra or MATH 060. Sophomore standing recommended.

This course emphasizes the role agriculture plays in the development process. On completion of this course, the students should be able to explain the role of agriculture in the development process, analyze the effects of developing country economic policies on the agricultural sector, and use economic reasoning and tools such as graphs to analyze the agricultural sector.

The course is a study of the theory of economic growth and development of less developed countries, and policy implications; an examination of the history of the process of economic development for a number of countries.
This course is an introduction to the broad contemporary legal issues of practical relevance to agriculture business and the protection of the environment. The courses foundation is knowledge about basic common law. Topics then move to a broader understanding of government regulation and agency law. This sets the stage for coverage of Environmental Law. Special emphasis will be on practical applications to agribusiness enterprises ranging from family farms to agribusiness corporations.

An introduction to the basic elements of law and the legal system. Topics include: common law liability (torts); product liability; criminal law; and commercial transactions (Common Law Contracts & UCC Sales). The student should be able to analyze situations and then apply the law to it.

Business Core


Introduction to reporting financial information regarding the operating, investing, and financing activities of business enterprises to present to potential investors, creditors, and others. Topics covered include basic financial statements, business transactions, the accounting cycle, forms of business organizations, internal control, cash, receivables, inventories, long-term assets, depreciation, and current liabilities.
A continuation of ACCT 211. Financial accounting topics covered include stockholders equity, statement of cash flows, and financial statement analysis. An introduction to management accounting topics such as cost allocation, product costing, cost-volume-profit analysis, responsibility accounting, operational budgeting, and capital budgeting. Student must receive C- or better in ACCT 211 before taking this course. The Accounting program reserves the right to remove students from the course who do not meet the prerequisite.

This course examines the economy as a whole: measurement of the level of aggregate economic activity, growth, employment and unemployment, inflation, government spending, taxation and deficits, the monetary system, international trade, and how other economic systems work.

This course requires a mathematical background including two years of high school algebra or MATH 060.

MGMT 221 provides students with an introduction to computer software used in todays business world. Students will learn how to use word processing, database, spreadsheet, and graphics software tools as means of communication and problem-solving. The course includes significant computer lab time in which the students skills and proficiency in the use of these computer software programs will be developed and refined. Students will also be introduced to enterprise resource planning concepts and software and how these programs are integrated into day-to-day business operations.

Business Core – Select one of the following:


Beginning statistical theory and procedures, including data collection, sampling techniques, organization and presentation of data, measurement of central tendency, probability concepts, discrete and continuous probability distributions, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, and linear regression. Students use a computer to do some statistical analysis.

Introduction to measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, frequency distributions, large and small samples, testing of hypotheses, and correlation analysis. Use of computers in statistical analysis. The required preparation is MATH 110 or three years of high school mathematics.

This course provides students with an introduction to the use of statistical methods in behavioral sciences research. Topics covered include descriptive statistics, t tests, analysis of variance with post-hoc tests, correlation, linear regression, and chi-square tests. Students taking this course should also enroll in the laboratory section, in which they will learn how to use statistical software for data analysis.

The required preparation is MATH 110 or three years of high school mathematics.

Math and Science Core


Basic physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. Soil genesis, classification, and principles of soil fertility. The required preparation for this course is three years of high school.

Math and Science Core – Select one of the following


This is an introductory course in agronomy with a goal to provide the general principles underlying crop production. The course examines the dynamics and functions of crop communities, influence of the environment on crop production, plant morphology and metabolism, crop growth and development, plant breeding as well as soil water management. Other topics that will be discussed are cultural practices associated with optimum crop production and commercial production of selected field crops.
Production and management practices for corn, soybeans, small grain, and forage crops common to Midwestern U.S. agriculture. Topics to be covered are growth and development, plant characteristics, crop quality, production practices including crop rotation, tillage, soil fertility, cultivar selection, planting strategies, pest management, and harvesting techniques that optimize production and sustains the natural resource base needed to produce high quality and high yielding crops. Principles of grain and forage crop management will also be utilized in solving on-farm problems.
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of animal agriculture with a focus on management practices related to the health, husbandry, feeding, breeding, and marketing of beef and dairy cattle, small ruminants, swine, poultry, horses, and alternative agricultural species. This will be accomplished through lectures and hands-on experiences during laboratory sessions. Live animals will be used during laboratories in accordance with federal regulations, and all laboratories will be conducted with respect for the animals.

Math and Science Core – Select one of the following


A study of the fundamental concepts of algebra. Topics include: equations and inequalities polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions and their graphs, and systems of linear equations.

Solving systems of linear equations, matrix operations, and an introduction to linear programming, including the simplex method, mathematics of finance, counting techniques, and probability. The required preparation is MATH 110 or three years of high school mathematics.
A detailed study of the mathematics needed for calculus. Concepts are presented and explored from symbolic, graphical, and numerical perspectives. Basic concepts covered include polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, complex numbers, linear systems, numerical patterns, sequences and series. Students must have passed Math 060 with a B- or better, or Math 110 with a C- or better, or met one of the other stated prerequisites. Students who do not meet the stated requirements may be dropped from the course.
Differential calculus of elementary functions, including applications. Introduction to integration. The required preparation is MATH 125 or MATH 135 or three years of high school mathematics including trigonometry.

Agricultural Finance Concentration


Monetary system and monetary policy, including aggregate economic activity, economic policy and goals, and intermediate finance.

Financial planning and analysis, capital budgeting, management of working capital, management of long-term funds, promotion, expansion, and evaluation.

Agricultural Finance Concentration – Select one of the following


A study of how to use futures and options contracts to hedge price risk. Stress is placed on the use of agricultural commodity contracts by farmers and agribusinesses working with farmers.
The opportunity to pursue an internship is designed to supplement course materials with actual related work experience. Students are expected to integrate disciplinary knowledge into a real world setting. The student will submit weekly reports on work assignments as well as a report at the conclusion of the internship. The number of credits allowed will depend on the magnitude of the internship.
This course provides perspective on a variety of topics that impact agriculture and the community through a mix of lecture and field-based learning, panel discussions, guest speakers, readings and technology tools. Various topics including leadership theory and skills, personal development, agricultural and environmental issues, social issues, state and federal political processes and communication are discussed. This course is required for all Agricultural Solutions majors.

The analysis, interpretation, presentation, and effective writing of letters, memos, reports, and other types of business documents.

This course is a general introduction to business and personal risk management. Risk has been defined as uncertainty about if, when, and how much loss you can have. Risk Management deals with this uncertainty as does some aspects of Finance, Accounting and Marketing. Risk Management offers some additional options. One of the most common methods in our culture is Insurance. It is purchased as one way to offset/manage risk by transferring the uncertainty resulting from perils that expose a person, or business, to loss. The Insurance Industry makes a profit by charging to take responsibility for other people and businesses risk.

A study of techniques and methods of effectively planning for the accomplishment of personal goals. Topics researched will consist of credit and borrowing, personal savings, risk management and insurance, investments, tax planning, estate planning, and others.

Principles of investments with emphasis on security appraisal and portfolio composition.

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