Education

Best Online Agricultural Business Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Agricultural Business programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Agricultural business is the study of the business of agriculture. Agricultural business degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in agriculture, including farm management, agricultural marketing, and agricultural finance.

Agricultural business degrees offer a broad overview of agriculture, covering topics such as farm management, agricultural marketing, and agricultural finance. Students in agricultural business degree programs learn about the different aspects of running a farm or other agricultural business, and how to manage and finance an agricultural operation. They also learn about the legal and regulatory environment in which agriculture businesses operate.

How to Choose the Right Agricultural Business Program

When it comes to choosing the right agricultural business bachelor’s degree program, there are a few key factors that students need to keep in mind. The first is cost. Agricultural business programs can be expensive, so students need to make sure that they can afford the tuition and fees associated with the program. The second is location. Agricultural business programs are typically located in rural areas, so students need to make sure that they are comfortable with the location. The third is time to degree. Agricultural business programs typically take four years to complete, so students need to make sure that they are willing to commit to the program. The fourth is specialization. Agricultural business programs typically offer a variety of specializations, so students need to make sure that they choose a program that offers the specialization that they are interested in.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business Programs

The best online programs for Agricultural Business ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management from Pennsylvania State University is an online degree program that prepares students for a career in the food system. The program integrates studies in agriculture and business management with courses in finance, supply chain, marketing, and consumer behavior. Students also choose a specialty area to study in more depth.

Rank 2
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from the University of Minnesota blends a strong base of agriculture, business, and general education courses while maximizing flexibility that allows students to choose electives to fit their career interests and expectations.

Rank 3
The University of Tennessee-Martin
Martin, TN

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business, Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business degree gives students instruction in the agricultural sciences, agricultural economics, accounting, finance, policy, marketing and management. The curriculum emphasizes training related to the management phases of agricultural industry and business.

Rank 4
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University is a flexible degree that focuses on the management skills necessary to succeed in small- and medium-sized agricultural businesses. The curriculum is designed to keep up with the constant economic and technological changes in the agriculture industry. Students will gain an understanding of economics, technology, policy, and entrepreneurship to be successful in the constantly evolving agriculture industry. Additionally, students will take agricultural science courses in areas such as animal sciences, horticulture, and food technology. The degree can be customized by adding a degree minor, with options such as business administration and global and environmental sustainability.

Rank 5
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences from Oregon State University is a flexible program that allows students to design their own degree. The program is rooted in more than 150 years of agricultural teaching expertise and is delivered through a top-ranked online learning platform. Students can choose from a variety of agriculture-based credits and electives, such as crop and soil science, agricultural sciences and natural resources communications, leadership or agricultural business management. The College of Agricultural Sciences’ broad-ranging course offerings enable students to explore topics across the agricultural spectrum or specialize in a few areas of emphasis based on their interests and career goals.

Rank 6
Greenville University
Greenville, IL

The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Greenville University is an online applied business management degree adapted for the agribusiness industry. The program provides hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for success in domestic and international agricultural business environments. The curriculum is industry-driven and grounded in interdisciplinary learning. Students have the opportunity to serve in consulting roles for leading agribusiness companies by participating in the Experience First program. The program includes studies in business and market plan development, entrepreneurial lab exercises, and agricultural commodity market simulations.

Rank 7
Illinois College
Jacksonville, IL

The Bachelor of Arts in Agribusiness Management from Illinois College is an online degree program that prepares students for business roles within the agricultural sector. The curriculum combines essential business and agricultural topics, giving students a broad understanding of successful practices in all aspects of the field. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes a required internship.

Rank 8
Utah State University
Logan, UT

The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Utah State University is a versatile degree that gives students a strong foundation in business. The program covers topics such as agricultural economics, principles of management information systems, natural resources and regional economics, firm finance and records analysis.

Rank 9
North Carolina A & T State University
Greensboro, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education from North Carolina A&T State University is a two-year program designed for students who have an interest in becoming secondary agricultural educators in the public school system. The program is comprised of two study tracks: the Secondary Education Track and the Professional Service Track. Students in the Secondary Education Track are eligible for licensure from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in addition to careers in agribusiness and government. Students in the Professional Service Track are prepared for careers in government, agribusiness, international agriculture, and cooperative extension.

Rank 10
Iowa Wesleyan University
Pleasant, IA

The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Iowa Wesleyan University is designed to teach students the basics of business administration principles as they are applied to the agricultural industry. The program is flexible and convenient, with eight-week terms and six start dates throughout the year. The program is also designed to be transfer-friendly, accepting up to 90 transfer credits. Students in the program will learn from faculty with practitioner experience and will have the opportunity to apply business principles to real-world issues and opportunities within the agricultural field.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business Program

Agricultural business programs typically require about 120 credits, which students can complete in four years of full-time study. The curriculum covers topics like business management, economics, and finance as they relate to the agricultural industry. Students also take classes in agricultural science, such as soil science, crop science, and animal science.

Some programs allow students to choose a specialization, such as agribusiness management, agri-food business management, or farm management. Many programs also include an internship, practicum, or field experience component to give students hands-on experience in the agricultural industry.

To succeed in an agricultural business program, students should have strong math skills and be able to effectively communicate with others. They should also be interested in the business side of the agricultural industry and be able to work independently and as part of a team.

Common Agricultural Business Courses

Agricultural business degree programs typically offer a mix of business and agriculture courses. The following is a list of five courses that are commonly found in undergraduate agricultural business programs.

Business Principles in Agriculture

This course covers the basic principles of business management as they apply to the agricultural industry. Topics include business planning, organization and structure, financial management, risk management, marketing, and human resources. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of business management to the agricultural industry and be familiar with the various aspects of running a successful agricultural business.

Agriscience

This course covers the scientific principles underlying the production of food, fiber, and ornamental crops. Emphasis is placed on the application of these principles in the management of agronomic, horticultural, and animal production systems. Upon completion, students should be able to apply scientific principles to the management of agronomic, horticultural, and animal production systems.

Strategic Marketing in Agribusiness

This course covers the strategic marketing process as applied to agribusiness firms. Emphasis is placed on the development of a marketing plan, market research, target marketing, product/service management, pricing, distribution, and promotion. Upon completion, students should be able to develop a marketing plan, conduct market research, identify target markets, develop a product/service mix, determine pricing strategies, select distribution channels, and create a promotional mix.

Agricultural Law

This course covers the legal principles governing the agricultural industry with an emphasis on their practical application. Topics include the organization and operation of agricultural businesses, contracts, financing, real and personal property, water rights, environmental law, employment law, and risk management. Upon completion, students should be able to apply legal principles to agricultural business situations and recognize the need for legal counsel in agricultural business transactions.

Livestock and Poultry Management

This course covers the management and production of livestock and poultry. Topics include selection, housing, feeding, health, and marketing of beef cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and poultry. Emphasis is placed on the application of management principles to the efficient production of marketable animals. Upon completion, students should be able to apply management principles to the efficient production of marketable animals.

Career Options for Agricultural Business Graduates

Graduates of agricultural business programs work in a variety of industries, including agriculture, food production, and environmental conservation. They may also work in fields such as marketing, sales, and management.

Agricultural Loan Officer

Agricultural loan officers work with farmers and other agricultural businesses to provide them with the financing they need to purchase land, equipment, and other necessary resources. They evaluate loan applications and make decisions about whether or not to approve them, often based on the applicant’s credit history, financial statements, and other factors. Agricultural loan officers typically work for banks or other financial institutions, but some may work for the government or for agricultural businesses.

Agricultural Business Manager

Agricultural business managers are responsible for the business side of running a farm. In addition to the agricultural production, they handle the financial planning and recordkeeping, marketing, and personnel management. Agricultural business managers must have a strong understanding of agricultural production methods, as well as business principles and practices. They must also be able to effectively communicate with and motivate employees.

Farm Manager

Farm managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a farm. They oversee the planting, harvesting, and selling of crops; the care of livestock; and the maintenance of equipment and farm buildings. Farm managers also develop and implement farm policies and procedures, such as those related to safety, quality control, and environmental compliance. In larger operations, farm managers may oversee a team of workers, while in smaller operations they may be responsible for all aspects of the farm.

Agricultural Engineer

Agricultural engineers work on a variety of projects related to food production, land management, and environmental conservation. They might design new irrigation systems, develop more efficient ways to store and transport food, or find ways to reduce pollution from farming operations. Agricultural engineers often work with other scientists and engineers, such as civil engineers, to develop solutions to problems. They also work with farmers and other agricultural workers to implement new technologies.

Agricultural Economist

Agricultural economists work in the public and private sector to apply economic principles and research methods to solve problems in the agricultural industry. They might work on issues such as food security, farm management, agribusiness, and environmental conservation. Agricultural economists typically have a background in economics and agricultural science, and their work often combines elements of both disciplines. They might use their skills to develop policy recommendations, conduct market analysis, or manage projects aimed at improving the efficiency of the agricultural industry.

Insights From an Agricultural Business Graduate

Gwendolyn Small is a Farm Manager at Smith Farms. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from California Polytechnic State University. Gwendolyn has over 3 years of experience in farm management.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Agricultural Business program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Gwendolyn Small: I would say the biggest takeaway from my Agricultural Business program is the importance of networking. In the agricultural industry, it is all about who you know. If you want to be successful, you need to build relationships with the right people.

Another big takeaway is the importance of being proactive. In this industry, things can change very quickly. You need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Gwendolyn Small: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to work with my hands and see the results of my hard work. I also enjoy being able to work outdoors and being around animals. The most challenging aspect of my career is the long hours, early mornings, and physical labor.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Gwendolyn Small: The most challenging course I took was Agricultural Economics. The reason it was challenging was because it was very theoretical and there wasn’t a lot of practical application. My advice to students who are about to take this course is to be prepared to do a lot of reading and to be comfortable with abstract concepts.

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