Southeast Officials Discuss Agribusiness Program with Sikeston Area Community Leaders

by News Bureau on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011

SIKESTON, Mo., Dec. 13, 2011 – Officials with the Department of Agriculture at Southeast Missouri State University met with a supporting group of community leaders, agribusiness professionals and area producers last week at Southeast Missouri State University’s Sikeston, Mo., campus.

Dr. Michael Aide, chair of the Department of Agriculture, discussed the accomplishments of the agribusiness plant and soil science major and the need for additions to the curriculum and infrastructure.

The four-year baccalaureate program in agribusiness allows students to start and finish their university experience at Sikeston, affording them an accessible and affordable quality program in agriculture business.

Aide said the Department of Agriculture recently has hired a new faculty member whose main responsibility will be teaching at Southeast’s regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo. The Department of Agriculture is anticipating the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education’s approval in the near future to place the agriculture education program at Southeast’s regional campuses, Aide said.

Students currently in the program said they appreciate having a higher education presence in their community. The new major will provide instruction in agriculture education for those students who wish to teach agriculture education in the region’s high schools.

The department is also asking the support group to work with it to monitor the curriculum to guarantee the instruction is of the highest quality and meets the skill set needs of local agribusinesses.

The department is also interested in discussing internship or cooperative programs with regional and national agribusinesses, Aide said, allowing the students to have real-world business experiences in agriculture.