New Bachelor's Degree Launched By Kent State Tuscarawas
Kent State University at Tuscarawas is now offering the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. The degree was added to meet the need for professionals and entrepreneurs who have the educational background to become successful decision makers in the high-demand and rapidly changing agricultural industry. Kent State Tuscarawas is the only campus in the university’s eight campus system to currently offer this degree.
“The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness has received overwhelming support from community, business and government leaders in and around Tuscarawas County,” says Stephen A. Minnick, Ph.D., assistant dean of Kent State Tuscarawas. “Agribusiness is a complex economic system that affects every member of the global community – from production to processing to distribution to consumer – and is a critical industry in Ohio. This leading industry supplies more jobs and contributes more to the state’s favorable trade balance than any other single sector. We are excited to bring this program and its opportunities to our community.”
The agribusiness degree blends business and agriculture with a focus on analytic and problem-solving skills, combined with the technical aspects of agriculture and food systems. Minnick says the coursework for the degree includes 14 new agribusiness courses, business courses and other Kent State required courses.
“The degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours,” Minnick says. “Some of the new courses include Farm Business Management, Agricultural Finance, Farm Income Tax Management, Agricultural Price Analysis, Agricultural International Trade Policy and Agricultural Environmental Law. In addition, an internship is required with hands-on experience in order to graduate. Many existing associate degrees have coursework that will count toward this degree, since the degree includes courses in accounting, business, economics, English and mathematics.
“Over the last year, we have hired one full-time and three part-time agribusiness faculty in order to get this new program up and running at capacity,” Minnick adds. “We just recently hired Dr. Sankalp Sharma to be the full-time agribusiness program lead faculty member. Dr. Sharma holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the very institute we have modelled our program after.”
“I am very excited to start my work and teaching at Kent State Tuscarawas, and I hope to grow the agribusiness program not only here, but also at other campuses in the Kent State system. I intend to encourage as many students as I can reach to enter this dynamic and important field,” Sharma says.
Students majoring in agribusiness will be prepared for careers in farm management, management in an agribusiness firm, agricultural commodity merchandising, finance and lending, international trade, entrepreneurship, agricultural production, agribusiness sales management and food marketing, to name a few.
With the launch of this degree, Kent State Tuscarawas now offers 11 bachelor's degrees and 16 associate degrees.