Bison Fund: Creating Real Student Success Through Real Investments

The S&P 500. Stock options. Net profit margin. Liquidity.

Most people vaguely can associate these terms with the stock market, but for one group of NDSU students, these terms are just part of the real-world experience they are gaining from Bison Fund.

Bison Fund is an undergraduate student organization that helps manage more than $1.3 million in investments for the university.

Bison Fund students gain real-world experience by evaluating companies based on factors such as industry, sustainability, management and competition. They use state-of-the-art Bloomberg terminals in the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics commodity trading lab at Barry Hall to monitor and analyze real-time financial market data and place trades.

“The Bison Fund helps these undergraduate students by preparing them to conduct due diligence efforts,” says William Wilson, NDSU distinguished university professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. “Whether it’s analyzing a company, credit loan or other financial responsibilities, the tools learned and developed through the Bison Fund allow agribusiness and applied economics students to immediately come into their organization and make an impact.”

Wilson continues, “In recent years, there has been increased club participation by agriculture majors, and we are seeing venture capital firms and other investment management firms seek out these students because of the experiences they gain as part of Bison Fund.”

Between earnings seasons, Bison Fund members develop networking skills by hosting business workshops, bringing in guest speakers from the industry and touring investment firms.

Lee Vetsch, an agribusiness and applied economics master’s degree student and former Bison Fund president, says, “The fund offered me the chance to learn and create valuation models, investment theses and professionally written reports that became invaluable when applying for jobs and internships. My current work as a venture capital analyst for Ospraie Ag Science was strengthened by my involvement in Bison Fund.”

For more information: William W. Wilson, 701-231-7472,

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