New Agribusiness Program Launches at IW

Written by Theresa Rose on November 7, 2019

Mount Pleasant, IA – November 6, 2019 – Iowa Wesleyan University is excited to announce a new Agribusiness program to begin in the fall of 2020. The Agribusiness program at IW will focus on providing the broadest possible lens across all aspects of the agriculture business sector.

“This program is designed to prepare students for an agriculture business career in jobs that contribute to the production, processing, distribution, marketing, financing, and development of agricultural merchandise and resources,” said Dr. DeWayne Frazier, university provost. “It is also aimed to educate students with an agriculture background and sound business principles so they can return home after graduation and work in agriculture-related businesses that support the local farms or run their family farm business.”

The curriculum for this program will combine business along with new agriculture courses, such as Precision Farming Systems and Entrepreneurship in Agriculture. Students will also be required to complete a six credit internship as a means of gaining real-world experience.

“We have researched and developed the Agribusiness program to meet the needs of our region and economy,” said Frazier. “We recognize the importance and prominence of agriculture in our state and region. We want to provide an opportunity for students in Southeast Iowa to have the option to stay here for their educational pursuits in Agribusiness, while also creating a pipeline of talent needed to support our regional Ag businesses.”

Agribusiness is a high-tech industry that uses satellite systems, biotechnology, and many other innovations to increase efficiency and profitability. It was estimated by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship that Iowa has over $30 billion in direct sales of agricultural products. As a result, the jobs in supporting businesses are readily available. This program will also focus on sustainability—protecting natural resources such as topsoil, water, and air quality for the future.

“We are working on articulation agreements with community colleges and partnerships with regional companies,” said Chris Plunkett, president. “Iowa Wesleyan’s participation in online education and its location in one of the nation’s prominently ag-focused states make this a great fit for Southeast Iowa and our students. The future of agriculture is bright, and it makes sense for Wesleyan to be a part of leadership development in the Ag sector. We look forward to welcoming our first group of students in August when the program launches.”

Information on the Agribusiness program is available at https://www.iw.edu/agribusiness/