Agricultural Business Management

Are you interested in the problems of global poverty and hunger? Is your goal a career in international business? Are you curious about the effects of globalization on the American economy? Are you concerned about wetlands, industrial pollution, global climate change, and the survival of endangered species? Have you traveled overseas and been fascinated by how other countries organize their food system? Do you wonder whether bio-fuels are the answer to rising gas prices? Are you intrigued with the issues of genetically modified foods versus organic foods? Would you like to pursue a degree in law, perhaps specializing in environmental, business, or international law? Are you interested in getting an MBA?

A program of study in applied economics will open many doors to an exciting and rewarding future—your future. It will introduce you to some of the following topics

  • The economics of the domestic and international food system
  • Global markets and international trade
  • The economics of sustainability and development
  • Analytical tools for business forecasting
  • Environmental economics and public policy
  • Economic growth and development in low-income countries
  • Production economics, technology, and the economics of the life sciences
  • Managerial economics and markets

Agricultural and Applied Economics

There are four concentrations within the major, all leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.

  • Applied Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Managerial Economics

Agricultural Business Management

If you are particularly interested in business you will find our program in Agricultural Business Management (ABM) ideally suited to your career goals.

You will learn managerial economics, how businesses make decisions and minimize risk, and how to use applied mathematics and statistics to analyze prices and markets. This is a major designed by you and your advisor to fit your specific interests.

ABM students receive permission to take specified business courses that are normally reserved for students in the School of Business.

Regardless of whether you choose one of the applied economics options or the ABM option, our program offers many opportunities.

Tailor coursework to your interests

Start with the basics. During your freshmen and sophomore years you will take courses that form the foundation for your major. These include basic economics courses, an elementary statistics course, and a semester of calculus.

With those basics out of the way, you can then focus on your specific interests. Your advisor will help you choose from among our more advanced courses to find those suited to your interests. You can also take courses in other departments that complement your increased knowledge of economics and its applications to important issues.

Learn how to analyze real-world issues

Our courses are taught by professors who are international experts in their specialty and they will bring real-world experiences and insights into the classroom. Learn economics with professors who are involved in pressing economic matters around the world.

Get prepared for law school, an MBA, or graduate school in economics or applied economics

Your study of economics, applied statistical analysis, and the related courses for your major will provide excellent preparation for pursuing further education in the professional schools (law, business) or graduate school, where you can pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. degree.

Build your network and your resume

Learning is not confined to the classroom. Our undergraduates get real-world job experience—and make great professional contacts—through student organizations. There are opportunities for part-time jobs and internships in fields that interest you. Specific opportunities include:

  • Agricultural Business and Economics Club is a great place to start networking—making friends you will value for a lifetime. You will learn of internships and meet potential employers. You will organize field trips to the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve or take a spring break trip to St. Louis to interview agricultural business executives. Monthly meetings feature speakers from a variety of firms and agencies.
  • National AgriMarketing Association. UW-NAMA is the college’s student chapter of the National AgriMarketing Association. This group competes very successfully with other chapters from around the country in a national marketing competition. It’s a great chance to learn the ins and outs of launching a product and to showcase your talents in front of hundreds of potential employers.
  • Internships enable you to experience the workplace of your desired career, get on-the-job experience, make valuable contacts, and earn a little extra money. Our students get internships in a broad range of fields: marketing, commodity trading, agricultural production, natural resources, food processing and government agency service, to name a few.

We educate future leaders and decision makers

Applied economics is geared to teaching people how to make decisions, how to calculate the benefits and costs of alternative courses of action, and how to collect and analyze data for decision-making in the public or private sector. Our world-class faculty, and the marvelous learning environment in our classrooms, will make you want to learn and to excel in your chosen career. Our graduates are leaders in their fields—whether in private industry, academia, government, or consulting firms. In our department’s hundred-year history, our graduates have made their careers all over the world.

Financial assistance

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences offers many scholarships that are granted based on academic performance, need or extracurricular activities. For more information on scholarships, loans and work-study programs contact the UW-Madison Office of Financial Services.

For more information contact the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics:

Prospective Student Services: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Office of Academic Affairs

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