For several years, universities in the U.S. have been struggling with defining and refining undergraduate and graduate agribusiness education programs. With the release of the recommendations of the National Agribusiness Education Commission, the search for the key ingredients of a Masters-level program has intensified. Mississippi State University has been among those universities attempting to define the parameters of a "cutting edge" agribusiness program. Faculty interest within the College of Business and Industry and the Agricultural Economics Department to develop a joint program has precipitated intensive efforts to achieve this goal. A nationally recognized agribusiness group of six academic leaders served as a Cooperative State Research Service team to assess the University's potential, using the concept of an agribusiness institute as an integrating and management vehicle. Efforts in this direction have been aided by a USDA planning grant now moving into its second year. A survey of Mid-South agribusiness leaders indicates the interest of the industry in development of the program. The final step is to address the logistical details required to convert the current Master of Agribusiness Management in the Department of Agricultural Economics to a jointly administered program of study.


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