SUNY Canton Lands New Four-Year Agribusiness Program

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Pictured is Blake P. Gendebien, co-owner of Twin Mills Farms in Lisbon, being interviewed by SUNY Canton Videographer Morgan D. Elliott in anticipation of the college's new Agribusiness program.

CANTON, NY (02/14/2017) (readMedia)-- SUNY Canton reconnects with its roots as the North Country's agricultural college with a new four-year degree program.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran has announced the college received final approval to offer a Bachelor of Business Administration in Agribusiness Management. The program will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and can optionally be earned in an online format.

"Many of our successful alumni in St. Lawrence County and beyond trace their roots back to our agricultural programs, so I'm glad we're offering programs in this area once again" said Szafran. "Our faculty members have developed a new degree mirroring the advances in the industry and focusing on the management side of modern farming."

Students in the Agribusiness Management programs will learn the principles of accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, operations, human resources, economics, ethics and communications. The program will provide the management skills needed to make effective decisions and develop markets for their products in both small operations and large enterprises.

"There are numerous opportunities for skilled careers in agriculture," said Jondavid S. DeLong, dean of the SUNY Canton School of Business and Liberal Arts. "Crop management, production and distribution are going to be critical as the world's population continues to grow. Our new degree responds to the growing interest in ownership of agricultural enterprises in communities that have historically benefitted from farming."

Graduates will be prepared to bring together and apply their knowledge from previous agribusiness and production agriculture courses, as well as from their internship experience.

"An important component of this program will be the upper-level internship requirement," noted Assistant Professor and Business Department Director Alexander Lesyk, who will be overseeing the program. "We look forward to partnering with local agricultural enterprises to offer our students the first-hand experience necessary to become effective managers and business leaders."

According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, there will be approximately 57,900 average annual employment opportunities for bachelor's degree graduates who have expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources or the environment. SUNY Canton faculty members designed the program for both entrepreneurial students and those seeking established careers in related fields.

The North Country has long been a farming hub with agriculture as a core industry. Currently there are over 4000 farms in the region, with more than 1 million acres of land used for farming according to supporting research used to establish the Agribusiness program. Agriculture is a driving force in the North Country's economy. According to the USDA, New York ranks third nationwide in milk production; 20 percent of this milk originates in the North Country.

Several notable alumni have expressed interest in the new program and are already looking to work with future students.

"We are one of the biggest agricultural areas in the entire country," said David B. Elliott, a quality control membership manager for Agri-Mark Dairy Farm Cooperative and a 1980 alumnus. "Having a local Agribusiness program is going to fit the educational needs of a lot of young people in our area."

Agribusiness Management is SUNY Canton's second new program announcement of 2017. Previously, the college announced it would begin offering a Game Design and Development program. The college's faculty members from the School of Business and Liberal Arts and the Canino School of Engineering Technology have submitted several more four-year programs for approval by the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college's faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 11 exclusively online bachelor's degrees. The college's 15 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.