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MBA Program


MBA Director
Thomas Funk (222, JD MacLachlan Building, Ext. 3427/2771)
(E-mail: tfunk@uoguelph.ca)

Petra Schennach (223, JD MacLachlan Building, Ext. 2690)
(E-mail: pschenna@agec.uoguelph.ca)

Course Production Co-ordinator
Kim Mitz (227 JD MacLachlan Building, Ext. 3415)

Graduate Faculty

George Brinkman
BS, EXM Washington State, PhD Michigan State - Professor

Thomas Funk
BS, MS, PhD Purdue - Professor

Ralph Sykes
Dip Agric Guelph, BA Royal Military College, CA, FCA - Associate Professor

Calum Turvey
BS (Agr), MSc Guelph, PhD Purdue - Professor

Erna van Duren
BA Waterloo, MSc, PhD Guelph - Associate Professor

Associated Graduate Faculty
John Deen
DVM, PhD Guelph, Dipl ABVP-SH - Professor

John Fetrow
BA MIT, VMD Pennsylvania, MBA Wharton - Professor

    The University of Guelph is proud to be a world leader in business education for agriculture. The electronic MBA in Agriculture is a unique program designed to meet the management education needs of agribusiness executives and primary producers around the world. With the electronic method of delivery, we are able to present first class courses to students who are widely dispersed. Our MBA is a specialized program for individuals wishing to pursue and develop opportunities in agribusiness. The program has been developed by both academics and practitioners and is designed to improve the quality of participants’ management abilities and practices. Athabasca’s business courses, delivered during Phase One of the program, provide the foundation for graduate management education. Upon completion of Phase One, students proceed into the University of Guelph’s courses designed to deal with business areas of special interest in agriculture. Leading edge courses focusing on relevant issues in agribusiness is central to Phase Two and Three programming.

MBA Program
Admission Requirements

     Admission as a student is granted, on recommendation of the department concerned, to:

i) the holder of an honours baccalaureate (4 year degree) or its equivalent (from a recognized university or college) with an average standing of at least a “B” (second-class honours) in the last four semesters or the last two undergraduate years. At least three years of managerial experience is also required. Or,

ii) the holder of:
• a general degree and/or;
• a diploma in agriculture and/or;
• an acceptable professional designation;
having completed at least five years experience showing progressive increase in responsibility.

Applicants are not required to submit results of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). However, the university reserves the right, in certain circumstances, to request GMAT results when admission pre-requisites are in question. Meeting the minimum criteria for admission does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Limitations of funds, space, facilities or personnel may make it necessary for the university, at its discretion, and in spite of the admission requirements set, to refuse admission to an otherwise acceptable applicant.

Degree Requirements
          On average participants allot 20 to 25 hours per week to study and participate in the program. This is an approximate number of hours and may vary depending on personal learning style. Students normally complete the MBA in Agriculture in 30 months. Course modules are completed in a pre-determined sequence within a Phase schedule and are typically two months in length, some variations exist. Students must complete the program within six years of commencement.

The Electronic MBA in Agriculture is completed in three phases:

Phase One, offered through Athabasca University, requires participants to complete six core management courses which provide a foundation for graduate management and accounting education. Upon successful completion, students are awarded an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Management (AGDM) from Athabasca University. Continuation into Phase Two of the MBA program is contingent upon successful completion of the AGDM. Students complete the following six courses: Strategic Management, Managing Markets, Human Resource Management, Financial Accounting, Analytical Tools, Operations Management, and Comprehensive Examination.

Phase Two, consists of courses in applied aspects of agricultural business and management. Six courses are required for this phase - four mandatory courses, plus two electives.

Phase Three, is comprised of a project-based dissertation in an applied agribusiness situation which is a major piece of research requiring data collection, analysis and the ability to link understanding of the problem with an appropriate body of literature.
Computer System Requirements
     The MBA program is designed, developed and delivered using Lotus Notes GroupWare as the platform. All students are provided with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office software at the commencement of their studies. Students are required to have adequate peripherals to support the learning system, which include CD-ROM capability and a sound card. A basic level of computer literacy is strongly recommended for the MBA program. For information pertaining to computer equipment requirements contact the MBA in Agriculture office. Students are solely responsible to arrange for the purchase/maintenance of the recommended computer system.

Program Fees
     Contact the MBA in Agriculture office for current tuition fee information.

Course/(Credit Value) Term Course Description
Managing in the Agri-Food Policy Environment (0.5)
S This course reveals how domestic and international agri-food policies affect farm and agri-food business decisions. Students develop an understanding of agricultural policies such as supply management, farmer assistance provisions, government regulations, international trade and market conditions and learn how these policies can be used to successfully conduct business.
Financing Agriculture and Agribusiness (0.5)
S This course evaluates the financing needs for investment and growth. The focus is on long term capital budgeting for capital purchases, growth and expansion, mergers and acquisitions and investment in research and development for knowledge-based technologies. Students will learn how investors and lenders determine adequate compensation for risk taking.
Problems in Agribusiness - Summer Residency (0.5)
S A seven-day intensive session,delivered at the University of Guelph, that focuses on the development of a management plan for an agribusiness organization through the use of group case studies, seminars and speakers.
Business Policy for the Agri-Food Industry (0.5)
F Students will learn the fundamental aspects of strategy development and implementation while simultaneously enhancing their understanding of the industry. Participants are required to combine their knowledge of the functional tools of business developed in the core courses with specific agri-food challenges.
Managing Risk (0.5)
F This course deals with the practical applications of agribusiness decision making in risky situations. It considers diversification, insurance, futures and options and other derivative instruments to manage risk in contexts ranging from farm production to international marketing. It uses both conventional and real options analysis.
Marketing Research and Analysis (0.5)
F Students will learn the fundamentals of marketing research and analysis as they apply to decision-making. The key focus of the course will be on developing a marketing plan for a real product/service. Input into the marketing plan will come from actual marketing research information collected, analyzed and interpreted by participants. Students will develop and implement background-marketing research that can be used at the conclusion of the course to build the marketing plan. In addition to developing general research skills, special topics such as perceptual mapping for positioning, conjoint analysis for pricing and clustering for segmentation will be examined.
Management Issues in Agriculture (0.5)
W This course discusses the application of general management concepts and practices to agricultural production. Topics include strategies farm managers can use to assess performance, set direction, build capabilities and implement change. All readings and cases are taken from the viewpoint of an owner-operator of a commercial farming operation.
Animal Production Management (0.5)
F This course focuses on the business management aspects of livestock production, particularly dairy and swine production. Students will learn effective operating decision-making in the area of production through directed readings, individual problem solving exercises and group projects. Relevant agribusiness issues introduced include: product marketing, financing, operating control, risk management and disease control strategies, feeding and input cost control, farm performance evaluation, facilities planning, economic decision-making under uncertainty and operations in a consumer driven and environmentally constrained context.
Dairy Production Management (0.5)
W This course deals with the specifics of applying business management strategies to farm operations. Trends facing the North American dairy industries and challenges faced by individual producers are examined. Relevant and practical operating decision-making and management skills are considered with the intent of maximizing the profitability and reducing the risk of the individual firm.
Swine Production Management (0.25)
W This course deals with the specifics of applying business management strategies to farm operations. Trends facing the North American swine industries and challenges faced by individual producers are examined. Relevant and practical operating decision-making and management skills are considered with the intent of maximizing the profitability and reducing the risk of the individual firm.
Special Topics in Agribusiness Management (0.5)
   A special topic course focusing on relevant business issues or problems allowing students to enhance and further develop expertise in specific areas of management. May be offered to students in any semester.
Directed Research Project (0.5)
   A management research project leading to a referenced report focusing on selected topics of interest in agricultural business.


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