Curriculum

Undergraduate Certificate

Core Courses

Students will survey legal principles applying to agribusiness firms, legal basics, and how to access legal materials. Through an understanding of common law, case law, statutes and regulations, students will learn how to discern rights and obligations regarding contracts, business instruments, torts, property, and nuisance. The materials should enable students to recognize and avoid legal problems and effectively use legal counsel.
Introduction to regulatory theory, externalities and market failures, definition of key regulations affecting agribusiness, overview of local government law, and delineation of environmental laws relating to agriculture. Current environmental issues are related to statutory, administrative, and regulatory authorities.
Economic policies affecting agricultural prosperity, with special emphasis on farm programs, food assistance programs, agricultural trade, finance, bargaining and other institutional forces affecting agriculture and agribusiness. Implication of agricultural policy alternatives on people living in rural and urban areas.
This course is intended to introduce students to cooperatives as a form of business enterprise. Cooperatives are important in many segments of the economy, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Students will learn the role of cooperatives in market-oriented economies like the U.S. and will become familiar with cooperative principles, the economic theory of cooperatives, and the fundamentals of co-op operations including accounting principles, financing, decision making, and taxation. The focus will be primarily upon traditional agricultural cooperatives; however, other types of cooperatives will be examined in some detail during the second half of the course.
Theory, practice, and evaluation of cooperatives including principles, management, marketing, finance, taxes, legal issues, and adjusting to change.
Ethical behavior is a crucial issue in American business. Understanding ethics is especially timely for students in agribusiness and agricultural sciences given claims of marketing unhealthy foods, the development of genetically-modified organisms, controversy over hiring undocumented workers, and the consolidation of agriculture into industrial production facilities. Students are taught ethical theories and frameworks used to discuss general ethical questions such as death, theft, and lying, followed by the more specific agribusiness issues mentioned above. Students will formulate their own opinions about these issues, recognize and understand the opinions of others, and be able to accurately and adequately communicate those opinions.
Introduce U.S. statutes, regulations, and court cases relating to food safety concerns so students are prepared to handle real-world situations involving food safety. Students will gain an understanding of where and how to locate laws relating to food safety; the relationship between a statute, a regulation, and a court decision; and who has the authority to interpret them. The course also provides an overview of the interaction among federal and state food safety laws, and the expanding role of international food standards.
Introduction to global food systems and agricultural diversity. Food production techniques, economics, society/cultural values, and agricultural constraints in several countries will be studied. The course is team taught with faculty from Economics, Animal and Range Sciences, and Plant Science.
Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2021-2022: $420

15 Hours

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Adam McGhee
Breanna Collins
Melissa Selders-Ortez
Aimee Maher
Dana Nash
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Headshot photo of Janice Edwards smilingIn addition to the flexible learning environment and knowledgeable faculty, another benefit that’s been a pleasant and unexpected surprise are the meaningful connections I have made with other students from all over the country. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn from their distinct experiences and individual perspectives related to development, but there are classmates that I now consider to be friends and have even had the privilege of meeting in person.

– – Janice Edwards, Community Development Student,
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