It’s a monumental day in SUNY Morrisville’s history as the college announced its first master’s degree in Food & Agribusiness (FAB).
The fully online, two-year degree prepares professionals for careers throughout the food system, drawing from agricultural economics, food marketing, supply chain management, organizational management, econometrics, agriculture and food regulation, and more, all tailored to the special problems that food businesses face.
“The program will provide graduates who are equipped with the tools to solve the tremendous challenges facing food systems that promote safe, secure and sustainable practices for an ever-growing global demand,” said Scott Colby, assistant professor of agribusiness, who was instrumental in developing the new degree.
“This new degree program represents a new era at Morrisville, as we offer graduate education for the first time aligned with our historical mission in agriculture and technology,” said SUNY Morrisville President David Rogers. “As these specialized fields become increasingly complex, SUNY Morrisville will continue to expand its programming to meet the educational needs of New York’s evolving workforce opportunities.”
The program will officially start in fall 2023.
“FAB is designed to support professionals throughout the entire global system,” said Sheila Marshman, associate professor of agricultural business development, who was instrumental in the development of FAB. “SUNY Morrisville’s core mission remains steadfast: to educate and prepare graduates as future leaders in their specialized professions and their communities. We are now doing so globally. We are not just addressing the local food system and New York’s Food system, we are addressing the global food system.”
Who are candidates for the program? “Anyone in or interested in a career in the food system will benefit from FAB,” Colby said. “That means managers, farmers, policy analysts, food and fiber entrepreneurs, importers/exporters, retailers, distributors, marketers, military logistic personnel, food scientists, and the list goes on.”
Students in the program will acquire managerial and analytical skills through highly involved group projects, computational analysis, microeconomic theory, case studies of food producers’ and marketers’ managerial decisions, hot-topic policy debates, and business and marketing planning.
“A special aspect about the program is that cohorts will be purposefully comprised of people with experience throughout the food system,” Colby said. “That is important because understanding the interconnectedness of the food system is essential for good decision making in agribusiness.”
FAB teaches students skills and knowledge that are applicable throughout the entire food system. “That means FAB graduates will have job prospects virtually everywhere within the food system,” Colby said.
Other program highlights include a real-world master’s degree project or consulting experience.
“The culminating experience — whether it is in consulting or research-based — involves doing a real-world project in collaboration with faculty advisers and outside partners,” Colby said. “It’s an opportunity to create something that unambiguously demonstrates expertise and the ability to get impactful things done. That’s powerful in labor markets because employers can ‘see’ what the FAB grad is capable of.”
The program is already getting a thumbs up from the food industry.
“Agribusinesses are enthusiastic about FAB because they see that their employees lack advanced educational options for their employees,” Colby said. “We look forward to working with industry partners to make sure FAB provides the education that their employees need and partner with them on FAB student projects and events.”
“I want to thank and congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to help us reach this monumental achievement for the college,” Rogers said. We all look forward to soon enrolling the first graduate students in the history of the college.”
To learn more about FAB, email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, call 315.684.6056 or visit http://morrisville.edu/fab.