Agribusiness Economics BBA Linking University, Community
In Texas, it’s no secret that farming and ranching roots run
deep. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Lone Star
State leads the nation in cattle, cotton, hay and sheep among other products. Given
that rich history and economic impact, the addition of an agribusiness
concentration at MSU Texas is a natural fit to the business curriculum.
Beginning in Fall 2018, Midwestern State University will
launch an agribusiness concentration in its economics major to develop
graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and competencies to be successful as
they enter the agribusiness industry. “This specialty will be attractive to our
traditional market of economics students from this region as a specialized
understanding of the agribusiness industry. The program will provide them with
a competitive advantage,” said MSU President Suzanne Shipley.
In the United States, the need for qualified employees in
the ag industry is growing as 81 percent of those jobs needed in the field
require education beyond high school. Last year, there was a deficit of almost
10,000 graduates with ag degrees to fill open positions in the United States,
according to AgCareers.com. Additionally, research shows that over the next 30
years, the world’s food production must double to meet the demand of the
The mission of the MSU’s Dillard College of Business
Administration is to provide students with experiences that will develop their
knowledge and competencies needed for professional career entry, mobility and
leadership. In turn, the Dillard College provides specialized services that
contribute to the economic education, development and vitality of the region.
“We believe that tying the concentration for agribusiness to
the community will yield many benefits to all. This area is particularly rich
in farming and ranching knowledge because of the farmers, ranchers, and their
families who have been here for many generations,” said Dr. Robert Forrester,
who led the discovery phase of the project and is the Dillard Distinguished
Professor of Finance. “By working hand in hand with the local community, we can
leverage their needs together to help meet the growing agricultural needs of
the industry,” said Forrester.
Students in agribusiness will learn to apply business and
economic principles to the production and marketing of food and other
agricultural products and to the management of natural resources.
The addition of the agribusiness concentration is made
possible through a cornerstone gift from Carol Dillard, a lifelong Wichitan,
area rancher and philanthropist. The gift is significant to the Campaign for
MSU Texas, a seven-year, $50 million comprehensive campaign for the University.
“Carol’s vision to educate future ranchers and farmers with
the best possible practices has created an unparalleled avenue of progress and
opportunity,” said Shipley. “The Dillard family’s generosity and support
through the years has made the single biggest difference in our ability to
enhance preparation for careers in business in this region.”
The gift serves as the start-up funds for the concentration
in economics program, underwriting the program in its first five years by providing
a dedicated faculty member in the first year and an additional faculty member
in three years.
Midwestern State University’s ambitious comprehensive
campaign, currently in its early stages, will fund projects to enrich the lives
of students, enhance teaching and learning, and invest in the university campus
and the community of Wichita Falls.
Shipley notes, “We are calling this campaign ‘Boundless
Opportunities’ because it reflects the outlook of our students, our university
and our community. The education students receive at MSU Texas transforms their
lives and prepares them for a future that is filled with potential.”
For more information about MSU’s campaign, contact Tony
Vidmar, Vice President for University Advancement and Public Affairs, at
940-397-4782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the Department of Economics at 940-397-4379 for more information about the agribusiness concentration.