The agribusiness industry accounts for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. gross national product and employs close to one-fourth of the U.S. labor force. There is a continuing strong demand by agribusiness firms, ranging from large multinational corporations to emerging food manufacturing and input supply firms, for highly qualified and better trained employees in both management and the agricultural sciences. Students who have mastered economic and business concepts along with agricultural sciences do extremely well in finding rewarding careers following graduation.
The agribusiness program at North Dakota State University recognizes the importance of agribusiness to the nation’s economy and the long tradition of the department in training the industry’s leaders. The agribusiness major has several main components.
Students are exposed to a range of concepts and methods useful in agribusiness decision-making in each of three areas of specialization: finance, management and marketing. Equally important, agribusiness graduates will master problem solving and effective communication skills to face challenges encountered in their professional careers.
Agribusiness students are required to participate in an internship during their studies. Employers continue to place high importance on work-related experience when they evaluate potential employees. Employers know that all NDSU agribusiness graduates have gained valuable work experience through the required internship.
Collaboration with the College of Business leads to concurrent satisfaction of a minor in one of the business fields. A minor in accounting, business administration, logistics management, or entrepreneurship is required.
The Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics also offers an agricultural economics major. Students should refer to the Agricultural Economics fact sheet. Students in economics or other majors outside the department may earn a minor in agribusiness.
Agribusiness graduates find career openings in many areas of specialization, including positions as international and domestic grain traders; elevator managers; sales representatives with chemical, seed, feed and fertilizer companies; analysts for railroads, transport and renewable energy companies; logistics managers; finance and credit officers; food company managers; experts with the foreign agriculture service; and analyst positions in market development organizations. In addition to a rewarding set of career opportunities following graduation, many students choose to continue with graduate studies to further develop their analytical and management skills. Although many graduates find successful careers in North Dakota and Minnesota, others pursue careers throughout the nation and the world.
The department enjoys a growing international reputation for its excellent staff in agribusiness research and teaching. Faculty specialties include sales, finance, food marketing, food safety, industrial strategy, and commodity trading.
Agribusiness faculty expertise is complemented by other departmental faculty specializing in farm management, natural resource and environmental economics, and economic development. The quality of the faculty has been recognized by numerous awards for teaching and research excellence at both the state and national levels.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Several $500 scholarships are available to outstanding freshmen entering the program each fall semester. Scholarships also are available to transfer students and students already in the agribusiness program at NDSU.
The department annually awards over $100,000 in scholarships (ranging from $500 to $10,000) to agribusiness and agricultural economics majors.
The College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources awards scholarships each year. For more information on scholarships, go to: https://www.ndsu.edu/admission/scholarships/.
Student loan, grant and work-study information is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or One Stop.