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Abstract

Students in agricultural and applied economics are expected to develop skills and knowledge allowing them to perform tasks in agribusinesses and related industries. Skills range from technical abilities in the discipline to soft skills, such as communication ability or leadership performance, which may be more broadly applicable. We present results of a survey of undergraduates and graduate students participating in a student-managed commodity investment fund. The fund provides an experiential learning opportunity for undergraduate students and allows them to learn about commodity markets (futures, options, and other derivatives) while simultaneously improving technical, communication, and leadership skills. Students consider soft skills to be an important factor determining their participation and improve both soft and hard skills through participation.

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