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Agricultural Business

Department of Agriculture  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5638
Fax: 417-836-6979
Email: Agriculture@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

This program emphasizes the business aspects of agriculture by combining the principles of economics and business with the technical aspects of agriculture. The chief objective of the Agricultural Business program is to develop students in the application of economic principles in decision making. Skill areas include basic economics, agricultural sciences, statistics, accounting, marketing, management, finance and communications. As the structure of agriculture continues to change, employment opportunities for agribusiness graduates increasingly will be with business firms and government agencies providing resources and services to farmers as well as marketing farm commodities. The Agricultural Business curriculum offers dynamic and rewarding career opportunities, ranging from sales positions with local, regional, national and international agricultural marketing firms to management training positions in a wide variety of organizations. Commercial banks; insurance companies; farm credit institutions; chemical and biotech firms; feed, seed and fertilizer firms; governmental agencies; food processing firms and consulting businesses employ agricultural business graduates. Students have an opportunity to develop skills and nourish interests in a wide range of jobs that can develop into management-level positions. In addition, students can pursue advanced degrees in law, business administration, economics or agricultural economics.

Academic Program

The Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business has three options: agricultural finance and management; agricultural marketing and sales; and agricultural enterprise management. Each option includes requirements in general education, science and mathematics and technical agriculture. In addition, the agricultural finance and management option involves 33 hours of courses in agricultural business and 24 hours of accounting, statistics, business, economics and communications.

The agricultural marketing and sales option requires 30 hours of agricultural business, 12 hours of courses in accounting, economics, management, business law, statistics, communications and marketing. The agricultural enterprise management option requires 18 hours of agricultual business and 12 hours in accounting, management, business law, statistics and communications, and 12 hours in animal science, agronomy, and horticulture.

A high school student considering an Agricultural Business degree can benefit greatly from high school courses in vocational agriculture, mathematics and communications. High school graduates who wish to attend other colleges or universities before completing their degrees at Missouri State can receive assistance from an Missouri State agribusiness advisor in selecting courses that will maximize transfer opportunities.


The following is a list of specific courses in Agricultural Business that are included in the more than 100 courses offered by the Department of Agriculture. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.

  • Introduction to Agricultural Economics
  • Legal Aspects of Agriculture
  • Marketing Agricultural Products
  • Financing Agriculture
  • Land Economics
  • Agricultural Commodity Futures and Options
  • Agricultural Business Management
  • Agricultural Industry Study
  • American Agricultural Policy
  • Problems in Agricultural Business
  • Internship in Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Prices
  • Farm Business Management
  • International Agricultural Trade
  • Statistical Applications in Agriculture


The faculty of the department includes 15 full-time faculty, two of whom have special expertise in areas such as agricultural economics, policy, marketing, financing, statistics, management and pricing.

The agricultural business professors hold doctoral degrees. These professors teach the courses and advise students.


The agricultural business degree program is enhanced by a five-day Agricultural Industry Study conducted once each year, alternating between St. Louis and Kansas City. Study participants listen to and question managerial representatives of major agribusiness firms. This experience provides a unique opportunity for students to examine the management processes of a variety of agricultural businesses and helps students apply their academic preparation to actual business situations. Ideally, the Agricultural Industry Study should be scheduled during the junior year. At this point, students have completed sufficient academic background, yet time remains in the degree program for maximum development of concepts gained and elective course selection.

A special adjunct to the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business is the intern program. Numerous agribusinesses provide opportunities for majors to gain employment/experience through intern positions. Students and management of firms can evaluate each other as to future employment opportunities.

Agricultural business majors may qualify for membership in Delta Tau Alpha, a national agricultural honor society. In addition to recognizing their academic accomplishments, this experience allows majors to polish their skills for leadership positions.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

Freshman Year

First Semester Courses Hours
CIS 101 OR CSC 1012
HST 121 Survey of the History of the United States to 18773
ENG 110 Writing I3
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
AGN 115 Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment3
AGB 144 Agricultural Economics I4
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
AGB 334 Marketing Agricultural Products3
MTH 135 College Algebra3
AGS 101 Animal Science4
Total Hours 15