Unusual MS-MBA advanced ag management program

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The MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management program, offered jointly by Purdue University and Indiana University (IU), will begin with a new class in August. The 27-month program allows students to continue working full time while earning an MS in agricultural economics from Purdue and an MBA from IU’s prestigious Kelley School of Business.

“This is one of the few programs, if not the only program, in the country that focuses on agriculture and agribusiness,” says Allan Gray, director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Land O’Lakes Chair in Food and Agribusiness at Purdue University. “We have the normal courses you would see in an MBA, but we combine that with a master’s of science in agricultural economics. That means that our focus is on the food and agribusiness industry, and how standard MBA concepts like marketing, economics, general management and finance fit within the context of the problems, issues and challenges of the agriculture industry.”

Eighty-five percent of program’s coursework is delivered online, with five one-week residencies spread out over the course of the program. Two of the residencies are at Purdue University, two are at Indiana University, and one is held internationally, in order to boost students’ awareness of the global business climate.

Students undertake the program with a cohort that is intentionally limited to 30 students from across the food and agribusiness industries. They carry the relationships they generate in the cohort throughout the program and into their careers. “Each quarter, I work with my cohort on intensive real-world projects,” says Garrett Baldwin, a current MS-MBA student. “I get to know my team members — their families, their work styles and their strengths and weaknesses — just like I would in a professional environment.”

Courses are taught by faculty members from Purdue and IU, who are also industry leaders who keep a pulse on market trends. As students complete the program, they generate a capstone project that gives focused attention to a real issue their company faces. The program was recently awarded Purdue’s 2013 Award for Excellence in Distance Learning.

Learn more and apply at www.agecon.purdue.edu/agribusiness.

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