The Agricultural Enterprise Management program begins this September
By Diego Flammini
Enrollment for Lethbridge College’s newest ag-specific program is now open to perspective students.
The first agricultural enterprise management (AEM) program begins in September. The two-year diploma program brings together economics, management and science to give students an understanding of production and value-added agriculture.
Students then have the option to take the bachelor of management degree program with an AEM major at the University of Lethbridge.
The curriculum is set up so graduates can apply their refined skills immediately, according to David Hill, director of development for programming between Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge.
“By focusing on the business and management side of a rapidly changing global agri-food industry, students in the program will be prepared to be business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs,” he said in a release on Tuesday. “It is an exciting time to be engaged in agriculture and food.”
And Canada’s current agricultural landscape means there’s room for new ag entrepreneurs to succeed.
The industry contributes billions to the country’s GDP and employs millions of Canadians, according to Dennis Sheppard, Lethbridge College’s dean of the Centre for Applied Management.
“Agriculture is a $110-billion per year industry in Canada and represents more than 7 per cent of the national GDP,” he said in the release.
“Compared to other developed or developing nations, Canada ranks eighth in terms of export. This leaves a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to invest in value-added processing and highly technological means of creating efficiency and bottom-line wealth.”
The program has also named its first professor – a farmer from Saskatchewan.
Photo: Lethbridge College
Mandy Gabruch grew up on her family’s ranch near Consul, Sask. She recently earned her master’s degree in ag economics from the University of Saskatchewan and will draw upon her own experiences when teaching her students.
“I appreciate the need to see how theory applies in the real world, so I have been working hard to create classes that do just that,” she said in the release. The first year is chalked full of business, agricultural production, economics and management courses before students develop a deeper understanding of agribusiness challenges in, she added.