Employees are a strategic resource for agribusiness firms to achieve sustained competitive advantage (SCA). The resource-based theory (RBT) has emerged as a useful framework to analyze the significance of the human resource system in achieving SCA. However, few empirical studies in agribusiness provide evidence of a relationship between human resource system and SCA. This paper builds off our 2005 case study exploring human resource management and sustained competitive advantage. It provides an in depth review of the RBT and develops a framework by which agribusiness scholars might operationalize the RBT for both applied research and guidance for managers.