November 8, 2022 – Millikin University announced a new major in agribusiness within their Tabor School of Business. Set to launch in fall 2023, the Bachelor of Science program will teach students to apply the fundamentals of business to agriculture and agriculture-adjacent industries.
The agribusiness major will provide students with a strong foundation in business and agriculture, along with a firm understanding of the science behind crops, soils, animals and sustainability. Specifically, students will learn how to navigate agriculture and business operations, evaluate financial decisions in the agriculture industry, make decisions about commodity markets and operate analytical and managerial technologies.
Once they’ve completed the program, agribusiness majors will have the business fundamentals and science background to excel in careers spanning the wide scope of the agriculture industry, from banking and commodities to elevator management.
Millikin’s decision to add an agribusiness major came from the sharp increase in demand from students and the growing number of management jobs in agriculture. RJ Podeschi, dean of the Tabor School of Business, cited a significant increase in third-party farm management for the surging demand for agribusiness candidates. The Tabor School of Business also recently added Business Communication and Cybersecurity degrees to their undergraduate programs.
Additionally, Millikin is filling a need for more agriculture programs across Illinois. Of the 285 colleges in Illinois, only 32 schools offered agriculture programs. The major is also intended to benefit local students interested in agribusiness. “Since the relaunch of the agricultural program at Richland Community College just over four years ago, enrollment has increased significantly,” said Jess Smithers, Director of Agricultural Programs at Richland. “We are excited to partner with Millikin to help ensure that the talent needs of Central Illinois’ largest and most important industry – agriculture – is sufficiently met.”
Through a partnership with Richland Community College, Millikin University is offering a 2+2 program agreement for students who graduate with an associate of arts degree with an agriculture concentration from Richland. “Richland Community College is pleased to partner with Millikin in the development of a transfer agreement, providing Richland agriculture students who complete the associate of arts degree with the option to transfer seamlessly into Millikin’s new agribusiness program,” commented Andy Hynds, Dean of Math, Science and Business at Richland.
“I think this program is a great fit for Millikin and Tabor,” said Podeschi. “We are seeing more students interested in agriculture as a result of quality programming through Future Farmers of America (FFA), and other initiatives at the middle and high school level. Millikin’s Performance Learning approach to education fits in with agribusiness in a very concrete way.”
Agribusiness students will also have a multitude of internship opportunities in Decatur and around Central Illinois. With several small grain elevators, cooperatives and agriculture operations nearby to a large global commodity trading firm, students will receive real-world experiences prior to graduation. From flying drones over fields to determine crop conditions to navigating the trading floor, the internship opportunities are just one of exceptional aspects of Millikin’s agribusiness program.
Millikin University’s Tabor School of Business develops students into entrepreneurs, strategists and innovators. By engaging in real-world business opportunities through professional internships, student-run ventures and managing Tabor’s $500k investment portfolio, graduates of the Tabor School of Business have a 100% graduate success rate.