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Alta. schools launch ag management major

Alta. schools launch ag management major

The program builds on Lethbridge College’s minor program in Ag Enterprise Management

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Two post-secondary schools in Alberta have collaboratively launched a unique ag business major.

The University of Lethbridge (U of L) and Lethbridge College recently introduced a major in Agricultural Enterprise Management at the U of L’s Dhillon School of Business.

“We are focused on business innovations, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, and many of these innovations will help keep our food production safe and nutritious,” Dr. Shamsul Alam, associate dean of the U of L’s business school, said in a statement today.

The schools started developing the major after receiving a $5-million donation from Cor Van Raay, founder of Cor Van Raay Farms., in 2014. He believed that young farmers needed ag business and management education.

The provincial government matched Van Raay’s donation.

The course offerings will focus on four pillars: accounting and finance, policy and regulations, marketing, and operations and management.

Implementing those themes into coursework will make the ag management major a unique program, Alam says.

“We deal with the service value-added activities and how it goes from the farm to the fork,” he said in the statement. “Although we have developed this with the college, it is unique in delivery. No other university in Canada or the United States has this program.

“Other programs are based on science or economics or biotechnology, but this program is based on business.”

The new major builds on a pre-existing program at Lethbridge College.

The college used its portion of Van Raay’s donation to develop a minor in Agricultural Enterprise Management. The two-year six-course minor program started accepting students this fall.

Students in the ag management program from Lethbridge College will be able to transfer their credits to the major program at the U of L if they choose to pursue a four-year degree.

Farms.com has reached out to the schools for comment.

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