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Abstract

The current changes in agriculture, often referred to as industrialization, are creating a work environment for agribusiness employees that is more complex than ever before. It is paramount that agricultural economics and agribusiness programs adequately prepare students for this changing work environment. In particular it is essential to help students develop good analytical and communication skills. Specifically students need to be able to integrate ideas from different areas, identify similarities and differences, identify alternative courses of action, analyze the consequences of the alternative actions and communicate the implications of the action. This paper reports on a successful agribusiness capstone course that made extensive use of active learning techniques and brought industry into the undergraduate course. The format of the course as well as the benefits derived for the students, the university, and industry are discussed in the paper. In addition the factors that lead to the success of the course as well as those factors that were a constraint are identified. Readers can take from this example the ideas that will work for them to incorporate into their courses.

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