Genesis 2:15 tells us that God placed Adam in the garden and instructed him to take care of it. Since the beginning of time, we have been cultivating the ground and keeping the orchard in order to provide food for those around us. In the Grace College School of Business, we strongly believe that Jeremiah 29: 4-7 provides a great guideline and encouragement for business professionals to assist in helping their local communities. We believe that the Agribusiness program will assist in fulfilling our mission in a new and beneficial way to both Grace College and our local agricultural community.
The Kosciusko County Economic Development Corporation’s web site states that we are, “located in a strong agricultural production area, that has changed significantly and is noted for state-of-the art innovation and technology in its farming, ag processing and ag equipment industries. What hasn’t changed is the rural work ethic of its workforce and a common-sense problem-solving approach to business.”
Indiana boasts an agricultural industry that produces $38 billion annually which is roughly 13.5% of the states’ economic activity. In fact, 83% of Indiana’s land is dedicated to either agricultural production or forestry.
Jeff Mize, CEO of Ag Plus in South Whitley said, “Agricultural employment options are endless right now. There are so many opportunities that were not (available) 20 years ago. You look at your workforce and almost 50 percent of our workforce is going to retire in the next three to seven years.”
Since the world population is expected to be around 9 billion by the year 2050, it is believed that farms must become far more efficient with farmers producing more than 70% more food than they do now. This will take an educated workforce that is willing to use modern technology and methods to produce food to feed the world. Still, contrary to popular belief, 97% of all the farms in the USA are family owned and operated leaving only 3% that are operated by non-family corporations.
The Agribusiness program is designed to provide students with strong foundations in science and traditional business while emphasizing specialized agribusiness courses. Internships are designed to provide the student with hands-on experience for an entire ag-cycle from beginning planting through harvest. Internships will be tailored to the agricultural interest of each student.
Examples of courses in this major:
This course is designed to introduce the student to the world of agriculture related business and the fundamentals of farm management. A series of speakers and field trips to a variety of agriculturally related business will provide real time introduction to the field.
This course will serve as an overview of the economic theory related to the optimization of food and fiber production. This topic deals with farm more than just crop yield including the discussion of food policy, agriculture policy and environmental policy.
This course provides an overview of the financial aspects of running a farming operation. Topics to be covered will include; land and equipment acquisition, leasing arrangements, hedging and working in commodity markets, and working with financial partners.
The commodity marketing course will take an in depth look at the marketing of soft commodities rather than manufactured products in primary economic markets.
This course will cover topics related to the legal side of running a farm including; leasing, contracts, policy issues and succession planning. The course will also touch on working with family and the dynamic that extra dimension brings to the environment.
This is the capstone course for the program. Students will be tasked with producing a senior project tackling a major agricultural problem for the farm or organization with whom they interned.
This internship will start in Spring Session B at the beginning of planting phase and carry through the initial stages of the agricultural cycle. Special topics to be covered during the internship will be technology related to the preparation and planting of crops or specialized technology related to the particular operation emphasized by the internship site.
This internship will start and run during the 12-week summer session and carry through the maintenance phase of the agricultural cycle. Special topics to be covered during the internship will be technologies involved in the growth phase.
This internship will begin at the end of the growing phase and carry through the end of the harvesting phase of the agricultural cycle. Special topics to be covered during the internship will be related to the technology used to harvest the crops or specialized technology related to the particular operation emphasized by the internship site.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Business Administration, Cedarville University; M.B.A., University of Baltimore; D.B.A., Cleveland State University
Jeffery Fawcett serves as dean of the School of Business and professor of marketing. He came to Grace College in 2011, bringing 24 years of experience in Christian business higher education. Prior to beginning his teaching career, he worked as a consultant in Washington, D.C. on contracts with the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Federal Aviation Administration. Fawcett is active in the Christian Business Faculty Association.
B.A. in Political Science and History, Parsons College; M.P.A. in Public Administration, Ball State University; M.B.A. in Finance, University of Saint Francis; D.B.A. in Marketing, Northcentral University
Prior to coming to Grace in 2011, Alan Grossnickle spent five years at the University of Saint Francis, where he developed the Entrepreneurship program and taught business courses. He has extensive experience as the former CEO/president and founder of Caremet, Inc. and Miller's Merry Manor healthcare facilities, which was the largest independent healthcare organization in Indiana. He lives in Warsaw with his wife and has two sons and three grandchildren.
B.A. in Business, Goshen College; M.B.A., Indiana University at South Bend; D.B.A., Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana
Having worked in public accounting (staff accountant), healthcare accounting (corporate controller) and nonprofit accounting (chief financial officer), Roger Stichter has a broad accounting background at various levels of responsibility. He has taught at Grace College since 1995. He enjoys spending time with his wife and seven children, bicycling (he has biked from San Diego to Savannah, Georgia and recently took a 750-mile trip around Michigan), fishing and spending time researching the lifestyle of generosity. He recently completed his D.B.A. in accounting at Anderson University (Anderson, Indiana).