Definition of Agribusiness
The food production system begins with many varied activities from the farm supply in the sector, which provides a many of production inputs to the farm, then continues through marketing, processing, and distribution activities necessary to satisfy consumer wants.
A business that cares most or all of its revenues from agriculture. An agribusiness tends to be a large-scale business operation and may dabble in farming, processing, and manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of products.
Agribusiness is defined as business and management activities performed by firms that provide inputs to the farm sector, produce farm products and/or process, transport, finance, handle/market farm products.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines very specifically what types of employment in agricultural and agribusiness occupations. The following is a breakdown of these types of skills and knowledge utilized by those employed in agribusiness:
1. Agricultural production and propagation of animals, animal products, plants, plant products, forests, and forest products.
2. The provision of services associated with agricultural production and the manufacture and distribution of supplies used in agricultural production.
3. The design, installation, repair, operation, and servicing of machinery, equipment, and power sources, and the construction of structures used in agricultural production.
4. Any activities related to the inspection, processing, and marketing of agricultural products and primary products.
5. Any aspects of greenhouse, nursery, landscaping, and other ornamental horticultural operations.
6. The conservation, propagation, improvement, and utilization of renewable natural resources.
7. The multiple uses of forest lands and resources.
Why study agribusiness?
Agribusiness is a dynamic, challenging area of employment. Students who seek carers in this sector should have a good foundation of agribusiness and economics courses and at least an appreciation and basic understanding of the farm sector. Many large corporations have consolidated and will continue to consolidate with agribusiness-related companies. Opportunities for employment will increase, especially in the areas of sales and marketing. Students who seek jobs in agribusiness naturally start in sales or first-level management. These jobs present unique challenges that give students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in their four years of hard work in college.
The input and product sectors offer outstanding employment opportunities, but, like many other sectors of the economy, they are subject to cycles of unemployment. The relative health of the farm sector is closely related to employment in the input sector and less directly affects employment to the food product distribution system if one moves away from the farm gate.
As an agribusiness manager, one may be required to deal with many-externalities-factors that are accepted and over which one has little, if any, control. Government programs seem to cycle from the arguments for "free trade" and all-out production to the other extreme. One must be ready to accept and deal with these problems if one is to be a successful agribusiness manager. Hopefully, this agribusiness study will give the student some guidelines to go by which will be useful in evaluating decisions in the uncertain economic climate that lies ahead.