Agricultural Business Minor


Department of Agricultural Business

Annette E. Levi, Chair
Leon S. Peters Building, Room 302
FAX: 559.278.6536

Degrees and Programs Offered

BS in Agricultural Business, B.S.
MN in Agricultural Business Minor

Join the leader in science, technology, and management. The award-winning Agricultural Business Program at California State University, Fresno is a pacesetter — having been recognized by the Agribusiness Education Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and comprised of agricultural industry leaders and higher education scholars from around the country.

The agricultural business curriculum is a comprehensive and integrative program of economic principles and business application with a problem-solving orientation and a practical experience emphasis.

Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business combines core undergraduate courses in agricultural business (AGBS) with basic business management and agricultural science foundation courses. This undergraduate major allows you to emphasize a career specialty, such as agribusiness management, agricultural finance, agricultural marketing, farm management, or food industry management.

Certified Minor Programs. A Minor in Agricultural Business is available for students majoring in agricultural sciences, business, and other fields.

Complementary Fields of Study. Agricultural business students wishing to enhance their major with a technical field should consider a minor in such closely allied disciplines as animal science, family and consumer sciences, food and nutritional sciences, and plant science. A supplementary Minor in General Business is available through the Craig School of Business.

Ag One Grants for academic fees and books are available. Call 559.278.2061 for scholarship information and application.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has an elective area in agricultural business combining graduate courses in agricultural business (AGBS) with core courses from business. This degree program, AACSB-accredited, is administered by the Sid Craig School of Business. It is designed for individuals seeking to advance their career by enhancing their business management and economic analysis skills with an emphasis on agricultural sector applications. Contact the graduate business adviser at 559.278.2107. This area not currently accepting applications.

Instructional Facilities

Modern Computing Facilities. Labs are used to teach students computerized farm accounting systems, agricultural enterprise spreadsheets, agribusiness simulations, commodity trading, and to expose them to planning and decision-making aids as part of their professional expertise.

Institute for Food and Agriculture (IFA). Organized to promote the economic efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness of California agriculture, IFA uses faculty expertise and student assistance to address problems and opportunities in farm management, agribusiness finance, commodity marketing, agricultural trade, natural resources, and labor management. Seminars are held periodically on topics of concern to farmers and agribusiness managers. An annual Agribusiness Management Conference is co-sponsored with industry to explore current issues and report the economic outlook of the state’s agricultural sector.

Professional Preparation

Students establish credibility with prospective employers by participating in the following occupationally related activities.

  • Agricultural Business Club. Students plan field trips, invite industry speakers to meetings, organize the annual alumni dinner, hold a newcomer picnic, support a campus job fair, and sponsor career preparation workshops.
  • Industry internships. Opportunities exist for many career positions through management training programs with agricultural business firms and support institutions. The department coordinates internships on a competitive basis and grants academic credit in the major for this supervised experience (AGBS 194).
  • University Agricultural Laboratory Project.Students gain farming experience through participation in the faculty supervised, student project program and concurrent enrollment in an Enterprise Management course (PLANT, ASCI 196). Such a course is highly recommended and can be used in the major.


Agricultural Business

AGBS 1. Introductory Agricultural Economics

Microeconomic principles of resource allocation, production, cost, and market price equilibrium with primary application to farms and agribusinesses. Supply and demand in commodity pricing under perfect and imperfect competition. Optimizing single variable input production function; total/marginal approaches to profit maximizing output. G.E.Breadth D3.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: D3

AGBS 2. Agricultural Sector Analysis

Domestic and international forces affecting industry profitability of farm input suppliers, agricultural producers, commodity processors, food marketers; government fiscal, monetary, trade policies interaction with agricultural credit, price support, food subsidy programs; inpact on agribusiness asset values, debt accumulation, income levels.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 5. Survey of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Orientation to agricultural sector, institutions, and historic farm problems. Basic economic concepts and business principles applied to management, marketing, finance, and trade. Consumer demand and producer supply functions. Competitive market price determination. Overview of resource, environmental, consumer, and farming issues and government policies.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

AGBS 28. Introductory Agricultural Law

Fundamentals of agricultural law including historical sources; legislative laws and business ethics; administrative regulations, judicial decisions affecting agriculture; express and implied contracts with remedies for their breach in agricultural situations; real and personal property law plus secured transactions in agriculture.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 31. Farm Accounting

Basic concepts and principles of financial accounting systems applied to farm operations; mechanics of recording single and double entry transactions under cash and accrual accounting methods; preparation and analysis of enterprise records and financial statements to generate management information.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 32. Agribusiness Managerial Accounting

Prerequisite: AGBS 31 or ACCT 4A. Application and analysis of accounting information for farm and agribusiness management; integration of economic, and financial principles in preparing business plans; equipment cost control and crop enterprise accounting methods; capital investment and profit performance; introduction to computerized farm accounting systems. ( 2 lecture, 1 arranged)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 71. Agricultural Business Statistics

Prerequisite: ELM requirement met. Study of statistical techniques and formal reasoning applications to management and social and agricultural sciences. Calculation, interpretation, critical evaluation, and historical relevance of quantitative tools, data analysis, and results including graphical presentations, descriptive and inferential statistics, hyphotheses formulation and testing, and regression.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 76. Agribusiness Microcomputer Applications

Applied microcomputing for agribusiness management; use of spreadsheet, database management , and presentation software; applications to basic farm accounting and financial budgeting, farm production recordkeeping, and commodity price trend tracking.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 78. Agribusiness Quantitative Analysis

Prerequisite: ELM requirement met. Functional relationships, marginal analysis and decision-making models in agribusiness; logic and probability in diagnosing problems, designing operations and achieving objectives; identification of procedures for efficient resource utilization.

Units: 3

AGBS 80. Undergraduate Research

Prerequisites: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40) and permission of instructor. Directed study or research on particular problems in the field of agricultural economics and business. Consult department policies and procedures governing undergraduate research. Approved for SP grading.

Units: 1-4
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 85T. Topics in Agricultural Business

Agricultural economics, farm management, agribusiness management, financial planning, agricultural development, public policy, product marketing, and decision analysis. Topics may require lab hours.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

AGBS 100. Intermediate Agricultural Economics

Prerequisites: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40) and DS 71 or MATH 70 or MATH 75 or MATH 75A. Analysis of farm financial statements; institutional sources of farm credit; time value of money and capital budgeting for agricultural investment; cost of debt and equity capital; risk management strategies; insurance, tax, and farm estate planning.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 109. Management of Agri-food Supply Chains

Prerequisites: AGBS 71 and AGBS 100; Functional and Institutional approach to agri-food supply chain management, understanding animal protein, commodity crop and produce supply chains, sustainable institutional relationships, logistics and transportation, technology management, supply chain coordination through contracts and negotiations, food safety risk and communication.

Units: 3

AGBS 110. Farm Management

Prerequisites: AGBS 31, AGBS 76, and AGBS 100. Production economics and management techniques for analysis of efficient farm resource use, planning and organization; analysis of budgeting and optimization techniques, and computer applications for developing farm management plans.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 117. Agricultural Labor-Management Relations

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Economic analysis of the farm labor market; labor productivity, agricultural mechanization and farm employment; farm labor laws and government regulations; agricultural labor relations, unionization, and collective bargaining; farm personnel administration practices and supervisory management principles.

Units: 3

AGBS 120. Agribusiness Management

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Organizational forms and management functions of agribusiness firms; human resource management systems; management science principles for optimizing plant location, equipment replacement, inventory control, and sales volume; operations research techniques, including probability-based network and decision models, for solving agribusiness problems.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 122. Agricultural Cooperative Management

Prerequisite: AGBS 120. Philosophical, historical, and legislative evolution of U.S. agricultural cooperatives; uniqueness of cooperative organization, planning, direction and control functions vis-a-vis standard corporations; legal, financial, and tax considerations in managing input-supply and marketing cooperatives; case studies and field trips to cooperatives.

Units: 3

AGBS 124. Food and Fiber Industry Management

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Production management of farm input manufactures, agricultural commodity processing, food/fiber product distribution; functional approach to transformation/value-added operations including planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, controlling; case applications to materials handling, product development, food packaging, quality control, transportation logistics, inventory management.

Units: 3

AGBS 128. Agricultural Leadership

The role of government, industry, and consumers in developing comprehensive and inclusive solutions to current agricultural and food issues is explored. Leadership and communication skills for accomplishing group objectives are developed. A field trip is required. (Formerly AGBS 185T section)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

AGBS 130. Agricultural Finance

Prerequisites: AGBS 2, AGBS 32, AGBS 76. Prerequisite or corequisite: AGBS 100 or instructor's permission. Analysis of farm financial statements; institutional sources of farm credit; time value of money and capital budgeting for agricultural investment; cost of debt and equity capital; risk management strategies; insurance, tax, and farm estate planning.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 131. Agricultural Capital Markets

Prerequisites: AGBS 2, AGBS 130. Public and private financial intermediaries as sources of agricultural capital; the Cooperative Farm Credit System; credit management policies and practices; government policy, the regulatory environment, and competitive financial markets; legal requirements and financial instruments; external equity capital; and lease financing. (Formerly AGEC 185T)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

AGBS 136. Farm and Ranch Appraisal

Prerequisites: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). AGBS 110 recommended. Principles of agricultural appraisal; physical and economic factors affecting land values; estimation of real estate value using income, cost, and market data approaches; case studies and field problems involving the valuation of local farm and ranch properties.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

AGBS 140. International Agricultural Economics

Prerequisites: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40), AGBS 2 or ECON 50. U.S. agricultural sector in the global economoy; trade theory versus government protectionism; domestic farm programs impacts on commodity exports/imports; international agreements, multi-lateral institutions, foreign currency exchange rates, overseas investment; regulatory, fiscal, monetary policies affecting agribusiness competitiveness in world markets.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 150. Agricultural and Food Policy

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40); AGBS 2 or ECON 50. Analysis of public policies affecting the economics of U.S. and California agriculture; government programs influencing agricultural production, commodity distribution, market prices, farm income; environmental and natural resource issues; nutrition, food safety and biotechnology concerns; food industry regulation; international agricultural trade.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 155. Environmental and Natural Resource Policy

Economic Analysis of public policies governing land use, water management, energy generation, mineral exploitation and forest administration; review of population pressures and resource conservation; examination of externalities, property rights issues, resource use planning, agricultural zoning, environmental regulations, and reclamation law. GE Integration I.D.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: ID

AGBS 160. Agricultural Marketing Analysis

Prerequisite: AGBS 100 or permission of instructor. Commodity transformation and product flow through processing and distribution channels; market structure, conduct and performance; marketing system efficiency and marketing bill components; over supply, marketing orders, grading and standards, and price stabilization; price forecasting, futures market trading, and risk management.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 162. Commodity Futures Trading

Prerequisite: AGBS 160 or permission of instructor. Study of commodity futures and options markets; speculative trading and techniques of fundamental and technical analyses; crop and livestock hedging strategies for commodity procurement and marketing; integrating options and futures trading for risk management; and development of futures trading plans.

Units: 3

AGBS 163. Agricultural Export Marketing

Prerequisite: AGBS 160 or permission of instructor. Determination of potential overseas markets for U.S. agricultural products through export marketing studies; foreign business environment and distribution channels; product preparation and transportation abroad; cultural-specific promotional and advertising programs; international sales agreements, financial transactions, plus banking and shipping documentation.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

AGBS 164. Agribusiness Sales Management

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Marketing management strategies for stimulating business and consumer demand for agricultural goods and services; food and fiber merchandising using institutional, functional, value approaches; sales program organization and staff development for effective communication of product information and timely completion transactions.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

AGBS 170S. Advanced Agribusiness Applications

Prerequisites: AGBS 110, AGBS 120, AGBS 130, AGBS 150, AGBS 160; upper-division writing skills requirement and permission of instructor. AGBS 110 and AGBS 160 may be taken concurrently for seniors. Research methods applied to agricultural business in the areas of strategic management. Data collection and analysis using statistics and other techniques will be expected. Culminating activities may include commodity research analysis with price forecasting, development of a business plan, or case studies. A service learning project is expected of all students. (Formerly AGBS 170)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 173. Wine Marketing

Introduction to basic marketing concepts such as pricing, promotion, packaging and place applied to the wine business. Sources of information and methods to conduct market research in the wine industry. Consumer trends, buyer behavior and the structure and legal environment will be discussed.

Units: 3

AGBS 180. Undergraduate Research

Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of instructor. Directed study or research on particular problems in the field of agricultural economics and business. Consult department policies and procedures governing undergraduate research. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-4
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 185T. Topics in Agricultural Business

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Agricultural economics, farm management, agribusiness management, financial planning, agricultural development, public policy, product marketing, and decision analysis. Topics may require lab hours.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 9 units

AGBS 185T. Agricultural Business Competitive Team Studies

This course covers subject matter that is directly related to materials learned in the agricultural business major. Areas of coverage include agricultural economic theory, agricultural marketing, agricultural finance and accounting, agricultural policy, quantitative methods and communication techniques. Case studies involving agricultural business will be explored. May be repeated up to four times for grade.

Units: 2, Repeatable up to 8 units

AGBS 192. Agricultural Business Field Studies

Prerequisite: AGBS 1 (or ECON 40). Business and economic functions performed by specialized agricultural agencies with emphasis on physical operating patterns. Field trips to production, marketing, and finance firms. Workshops with agribusiness managers. (1 lecture, 2 lab hours) (Field trip fees, $75)

Units: 2

AGBS 194. Agribusiness Internship

Prerequisites: junior standing. Emphasis on development of decision-making ability through industrial experience integrated with basic principles acquired in the classroom. Only 3 units of internship allowable in the major. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

AGBS 280T. Topics in Agricultural Business

Prerequisite: AGBS 210. Classified standing or permission of instructor. Fields of study include: farm management, agribusiness management, financial planning, international agriculture, public policy, and product marketing.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units

AGBS 290. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Approved for SP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units


Agricultural Business, Minor Requirements

This minor field of study is principally designed for agricultural science and business majors. Those students majoring in animal, plant, and food sciences as well as agricultural education may seek to complement their technical knowledge with competencies in agricultural business for professional advancement. Students majoring in one of the business degree options may anticipate staying in the San Joaquin Valley where they will most likely become involved with and require an understanding of the agricultural sector as employees, clients, or customers of agribusiness firms. The minor also provides a foundation for graduate study in agricultural business or agricultural economics.

You should consult with your faculty adviser in the Agricultural Economics Department to plan your program. The adviser and the department chair must approve the minor program of study before it can be filed with the Degree Advising Office, and recorded on your transcript.

The minor consists of 24 units, of which equivalent courses are acceptable for a maximum of 12 units.

Core Requirements
Intro Microeconomics: AGBS 1 (3 units)
Financial Accounting: AGBS 31 (3 units)
Intermediate Microeconomics: AGBS 100 (3 units)
Financial Principles: AGBS 130 (3 units)
Organizational Behavior: AGBS 120 (3 units)
Production Operations: AGBS 110 or AGBS 124 (3 units)
Agricultural Marketing: AGBS 160 (3 units)
Government Policy: AGBS 150 (3 units)
Total (24 units)

Note: The Agricultural Business Minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.

Advising Notes

  1. University policy states that courses fulfilling requirements for a minor may be counted toward General Education.
  2. Students pursuing a minor are expected to have basic computer competencies (AGBS 76 recommended) and fundamental quantitative reasoning skills (AGBS 78 or DS 71 or MATH 75 recommended) before enrolling in the required upper-division courses.
  3. The department waives AGBS 1, 31, 120, and 130 for students who have already received credit for ECON 40, ACCT 4A, MGT 104 or 110, and FIN 120 respectively. Such course waivers correspondingly reduce the unit requirement for the minor from the maximum of 24 to a possible 12 - the minimum allowable under the Title 5 code. This adjustment accommodates the university policy that "courses in a major cannot be applied toward a minor unless designated as 'additional requirements' to the major."
  4. Concerning the course selections to satisfy the production operations core requirement, consult with the minor adviser about which choices match your career plans.
  5. All courses in the minor must be taken for a letter grade; CR/NC grading is not acceptable.

Prerequisite Notice

  1. Agricultural business majors must complete the lower-division business management base courses (AGBS 2, 28, 31, 32, 71, 76) and the lower-division additional requirements to the major in General Education Foundation Area B4 (DS 71 or MATH 75) and Breadth Area D3 (AGBS 1) before enrolling in upper-division AGBS courses.
  2. Non agricultural business majors who select the Production Management Option (Animal Sciences Major), the Production Management Emphasis (Plant Science Major), or the Teacher Preparation Option (Agricultural Education Major) must complete AGBS 1, 31, and 76 before enrolling in any upper-division AGBS courses. Note: DS 71 or its equivalent is a prerequisite for some core upper-division AGBS courses. Permission of instructor may be necessary to register for some upper-division AGBS courses because of the general prerequisite structure indicated in note 1 above for students majoring in agricultural business and the specific prerequisites listed in individual course descriptions.


Faculty members are broadly trained with advanced degrees from top-ranked universities across the nation, and are highly experienced as teachers, consultants, and researchers. They bring practical insight to the classroom by being professionally active in service to California farms and agribusinesses, industry organizations, government agencies, and professional associations. Forming a strong advisee-adviser relationship with any one of the faculty can help you match your career goals with appropriate coursework.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.