Food & Agribusiness Management


  • The Food and Agribusiness Management (FAM) field emphasizes the study of strategy, management, finance, and productivity within the context of the emerging global agri-food system. The focus is on a unique marriage of economic thought and theory with finance, management concepts and practice. Significant opportunities exist to apply these concepts and methods to firm and industry settings such as Michigan’s key agricultural subsectors, U.S. agri-food industries, and developing country food systems.
  • Research and outreach programs focus on economic and management issues such as measuring and managing risk, value-added processes, vertical coordination and supply chain strategies, and effective marketing and operations management of farm, agribusiness, bioenergy and food firms.


  • Faculty members in the FAM field have expertise in strategic analysis and management, supply chain management, management information systems, decision support systems (including expert systems), investment and risk analysis, farm labor management, food industry and agribusiness marketing, operations management, analysis of financial markets, futures and options, crop insurance, risk, mathematical modeling of firm behavior (including bioeconomic models), and analysis of firm productivity. Faculty are involved in undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, and outreach programs in the area. 

Course Program

  • Students in the FAM field are encouraged to select courses that will give them a mastery of concepts and analytical methods from both economics and management disciplines. Training in important field subjects such as budgeting and investment analysis is also recommended. Depending on the student’s career interest, courses may be chosen from areas such as economics, management, statistics, accounting, finance, insurance, systems science, communications, and the agriculture production disciplines (e.g., animal science).
  • Students in the FAM field are encouraged to build a solid base in microeconomic theory and quantitative and qualitative methods, including econometrics, mathematical modeling, and case studies.


  • Research is conducted on a wide variety of food and agribusiness management topics, including:
    • the drivers of firm performance throughout the entire agri-food supply chain;
    • strategic planning; vertical coordination and supply chain management;
    • agricultural finance;
    • risk management and crop insurance;
    • social capital and its role in firm and industry performance;
    • management information systems;
    • dairy management and livestock industry economics;
    • the performance of financial institutions and organizations;
    • the evaluation of tax policies;
    • the adoption and use of improved production practices;
    • sustainability of agricultural practices;
    • the marketing of commodity and value-added agri-food products;
    • entrepreneurship and economic development;
    • corporate environmental management, and bioenergy economics and policy. 

Course Requirements

  • Ph.D. students with a major field in FAM take two required courses:
    • *AFRE 857 Strategic Management in Agribusiness 
    • *AFRE 932 Information Economics and Institutions in Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • In addition, the Ph.D. major requires choosing one additional course from the following menu.

    • AFRE 853 Financial Management in Agriculture
    • AFRE 891 Special Topics: Business, the Environment, and Sustainability
    • AFRE 930 Dynamic Models in Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Masters students with an interest in food and agribusiness management should put together a suitable course program in consultation with their major advisor and committee.

Other Courses of Potential Interest

  • In addition to the courses listed above, there are other courses across the University that may be of potential interest to students with an interest in the field. These include:
    • MKT 907 Causal Models in Marketing
    • EC 821A Cross Section Econometrics I
    • AFRE 841 Analysis of Food System Organization and Performance
    • AFRE 851 Agribusiness Operations Management
    • MGT 906  Organizational Research Methods
    • MGT 907  Seminar in Organizational Behavior
    • MGT 908  Seminar in Strategy Process
    • MGT 914  Advanced Organizational Research Methods
    • SCM 917  Supply Chain Management Applied Decision Models
    • SCM 921  Seminar Inventory Management
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