News - Greenville College to Offer Degree Program in Agribusiness

Greenville College to Offer Degree Program in Agribusiness

Agribusiness major at Greenville CollegeBeginning fall 2016, the Briner School of Business (BSB) at Greenville College will offer a program of studies leading toward a bachelor of science in agribusiness. The four-year program integrates management studies with coursework in agriculture.

The new offering is a good fit for Greenville College on several levels, explains BSB Dean Suzanne Davis.

  • One, it leverages GC’s close proximity to global agribusinesses.
  • Two, students enrolled will benefit from GC’s emphasis on character development and experiential learning.

It turns out hiring managers in agribusiness value these qualities – hiring managers, who – according to the Ag Council of America – are especially busy these days.

Agriculture offers over 200 careers, including work in natural resources communications, food science, packaging and resource development. GC’s agribusiness management program will prepare students for positions as commodity traders, purchasing managers, financial managers and buyers.

Nestled in the heartland of big agribusiness

“Our location gives us a competitive advantage,” Davis explains. “We are within five hours of every major agribusiness in the world.”

For students, this close proximity means a wealth of internship opportunities in the St. Louis metro area, including Monsanto, Purina Mills and Bunge North America. Top U.S. Pork Powerhouse® The Maschoffs is about 30 minutes south of campus, and global agricultural processors Tate & Lyle and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) are 90 minutes north.

Companies hire character

Davis’s conversations with leading executives in agribusinesses confirm the value of college graduates who possess business acumen, speak the language of agriculture and exhibit good character.

“The people we spoke to would rather hire character than ‘train’ character,” she explains. “They want hard workers with good character, someone they can trust.”

Davis acknowledged that Christian values also emerged from her conversations as a plus.

A program rich in experiential learning

GC’s size and location permit a measure of agility that large universities cannot achieve. Davis anticipates that students will have a degree of flexibility in tailoring their studies to meet their interests. They will draw heavily on experiential learning opportunities at area businesses and collaborate with other departments on campus – particularly the sciences.

“We cannot reproduce what the University of Illinois does,” says Davis. “But we can give students the business acumen, the Christian character and a plethora of options.”

Davis reports that students have already shown interest in the program, even without publicity or a fully developed web presence. Each new inquiry affirms GC’s decision to invest resources in this direction.

Davis especially appreciates the counsel and advice she has received from agribusiness leaders including Rural King, Rabo AgriFinance and Eckert’s Country Store & Farms.

To learn more about the program, e-mail

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This story was published on January 25, 2016

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