Regional Campuses Offer Four-Year Degree Program in Agri-Business

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 4, 2010 – Southeast Missouri State University’s regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo., now offer a four-year agribusiness degree program specializing in row-crop production.

The program began this semester with more than 30 students.  The University recently begun discussing the program with prospective high school students, which Dr. Michael Aide, chair of the Department of Agriculture, says “will allow young people to select row-crop higher education near their home.”

“We recently sent out recruiters to reach out to the high school level, which is the first real publicity the program has received.  So fall 2010 will be the real ‘first’ year,” Aide said.

He added that all classes required for the degree are offered at each of the regional campuses.  Students will start and finish the agribusiness degree at Southeast Missouri State University’s campuses in Sikeston, Malden or Kennett, Mo.  

“The classes are taught face-to-face, as well as, through instructional television and on-line”, Aide said.  All of the laboratories will be taught face-to-face.  Classes are primarily taught by Southeast faculty; however, leading Bootheel agribusiness leaders will teach some of the specialized agribusiness courses such as, ag-finance and ag-sales. Additionally, the department is investing its recently acquired David M. Barton Scholarship endowment at the regional campuses. The goal is to provide affordability to our students, Aide said.

Students in the program could go into many professional fields upon graduation, including farming, agricultural sales, farm management, grain buying and much more.  The goal of the agribusiness program is to prepare graduates who will be able to manage an agribusiness without needing to be re-trained on the job.

“This is precisely why the department desires to have leading agribusiness leaders complement the faculty,” Aide said.

Agribusinesses will also support valuable internships to further give work experiences to the students. 

The faculty is pleased with this new addition to the curriculum, Aide said.  Many students in southeast Missouri go to out-of-state institutions that also offer this type of program, however, Missouri citizens should have the opportunity to learn in Missouri so that they are inclined to stay in our region and contribute to our economy, he said.

“The placement of the row-crop oriented program at Kennett, Malden and Sikeston is critical to the Department of Agriculture.  The Missouri Bootheel will become the most productive agriculture region in the world, and Southeast will be a big part of that,” Aide said.