Author Maggie Hammond, special to AgWired
The economy is improving rapidly these past couple of years, with agriculture being one of the industries that powered the shift towards a better economy in general. The industry itself is expanding rapidly. Larger corporations with multiple farms and ranches across the country, along with smaller farms and family-owned businesses, are bumping up production and meeting both domestic and international demands. The shift has resulted in an increased demand for agriculture management specialists.
The Business Side of the Industry
Agriculture is an industry with two sides to cover. The production side is usually filled with those specializing in agriculture in particular, including those with extensive knowledge in agriculture products and how they are produced. Stakeholders are pushing this side of the industry like never before, with products like beans, cucumbers and berries being more popular than ever. On the other hand, specialists with extensive knowledge in marketing, business administration and similar skills are needed to keep the business rolling and profitable. As mentioned before, the demand for agriculture management specialists is increasing because both corporations and individual producers are looking to expand and take advantage of the growing market.
Management Skills and Business Administration
A lot of farm and ranch owners are taking online masters in business administration degrees to help them better understand the business side of agriculture. In many other cases, family members or company employees are being encouraged to take the same course in order to support the increase in production.
Interestingly, pursing the necessary skills and knowledge in business administration is easier than ever. Universities such as Villanova University are opening their own MBA program online, allowing students from different parts of the country to pursue a master’s degree in business administration without quitting their full-time job or leaving the family farm or ranch.
These courses are allowing even the smallest family farm to expand and take advantage of the growing market. The course itself also allows students to expand their network and meet new, potential contacts in the industry. Since the degree – and the knowledge associated with it – focuses on more than just business administration, there are a lot of valuable skills to pick up along the way.