January 20-21, 2000

ITEM 106-202-R0300: Approval of Proposal to implement a Two-Year, Farm/Ranch Business Management Certificate Program; Dawson Community College, Glendive, Montana.

THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Dawson Community College to award a Certificate to any student who completed the two-year curriculum in Farm/Ranch Business Management approved by the Board.

EXPLANATION: The on-going, economic plight of farmers and ranchers throughout the United States requires supportive intervention on the part of higher education. Farm/Ranch Business Management programs of a similar nature in other states have helped to reduce the decline of family-owned/operated farms and ranches and increase their economic viability. The need to implement such a program in Montana is clear and should produce similar results. According to the Montana Agricultural Statistics Service, 27,500 farms and ranches in the State produced sales of $1,000 or more in 1998. This number has increased by one thousand since 1996. Subsequently, a substantial need and enrollment potential for this program exists. The purpose of the proposed program is to instruct farmers and ranchers how to use a personal computer and a double-entry accounting software to computerize their financial records. Being in immediate possession of up-to-date information on the financial status of the farm/ranch will provide immeasurable benefits to the owner/operator. Successful businesses are knowledgeable of their assets and liabilities and are able to assess the impact of decisions on their financial standing. This program will equip farmers/ranchers with the means to do likewise.

 

 ATTACHMENT A

 

 PROGRAM PROPOSAL

"FARM/RANCH BUSINESS MANAGEMENT"

TWO-YEAR CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

  

DAWSON COMMUNITY COLLEGE

GLENDIVE, MONTANA

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I. PROPOSED PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

A. Introduction:

Dawson Community College – Glendive, proposes to initiate a Farm/Ranch Business Management Program to instruct farmers and ranchers how to use a personal computer and a double-entry accounting software to computerize their financial records. Being in immediate possession of up-to-date information on the financial status of the agricultural enterprise will provide immeasurable benefits to the owner/operator. Successful businesses are knowledgeable of their assets and liabilities and are able to assess the impact of decisions on their financial standing. This program will equip farmers and ranchers with the means to do likewise.

B. Proposed Program Title:

Certificate in Farm/Ranch Business Management

C. Length of Program:

Certificate – Two Years (Four Semesters)

D. Credit Hours:

60 Credits

E. Contact Hours:

1278 hours Total

Class Instruction 346 hours (based on 50-minute hour)

On-site Instruction 96 hours (based on 60-minute hour)

Co-Op Instruction 836 hours (based on 60-minute hour)

F. Proposed Implementation Date:

Fall Semester 2000

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II. PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND DOCUMENTATION:

A. Brief Description of the Proposal:

Through this proposal, Dawson Community College seeks to implement a two-year certificate program in Farm/Ranch Business Management. The curriculum will provide farmers and ranchers with the training to use a personal computer and a double-entry accounting software to computerize their financial records. The certificate will consist of 60 semester credits: fifty-four credit hours in Farm/Ranch Business Management courses and six credit hours in Agricultural Mathematics, Interpersonal Communications, and Employer-Employee Relations (two semester credits each).

B. Appropriate Within Mission and Goals Statement:

The addition of the two-year certificate program in Farm/Ranch Business Management will enhance the institution’s ability to achieve two of its major goals: "To provide training to individuals in the community seeking to upgrade their job skills;" and "To provide special occupational training and skill upgrading programs responsive to the needs of local employers and service providers."

C. Need for the Program:

The on-going, economic plight of farmers and ranchers throughout the United States requires supportive intervention on the part of higher education. Farm/Ranch Business Management programs of a similar nature in other states have helped to reduce the decline of family-owned/operated farms and ranches and increase their economic viability. The need to implement such a program in Montana is clear and should produce similar results.

D. Student Demand for the Program:

According to the Montana Agricultural Statistics Service, 27,500 farms and ranches in the State produced sales of $1,000 or more in 1998. This number has increased by one thousand since 1996. Since the program is intended for individuals currently engaged in an agricultural production unit, substantial enrollment potential for this program exists.

E. Advisory Committee:

An Advisory Committee has been formed to provide input for the proposed program’s development and implementation. Members of the Farm/Ranch Business Management Advisory Committee include:

Steven Ohs –

Community First Bank, Glendive, Montana

Bonnie Rieger –

Family farm/ranch, 1055 Rd 244, Glendive, Montana

Mark Dreesen –

Manager, Farmer’s Elevator, Circle, Montana

Jack Tidaback –

Owner, J & S Feeds, Glendive, Montana

Jerry Cook -

Attorney at Law, Glendive, Montana

F. Articulation with Public Secondary Schools:

Shortly after the program is initiated, a secondary school counterpart will be proposed to local area school districts offering agricultural education programs. As the lead, post-secondary institution of the Eastern Montana Tech Prep Consortium, Dawson Community College will be in the unique position to coordinate the creation of a "Young Farmers and Ranchers" program for high school students. Such a program will enhance the existing secondary agriculture curricula to emphasize the importance of both computing and accounting knowledge for students interested in agricultural careers.

G. Articulation with Higher Education Institutions:

The Farm/Ranch Business Management courses may be transferable to a four-year college or university offering similar courses at the lower-division, undergraduate level or advanced courses at the upper-division, undergraduate level. Since programs of a similar nature are currently unavailable in Montana, articulated transfer agreements are not warranted at this time.

H. Coordination with Other Work Force Training Sources:

At present, Dawson Community College has been unable to identify other work force training sources to complement the development and delivery of this unique program.

I. Resources:

The curriculum for the proposed program builds on the college’s tradition of serving Montana residents as an exemplary provider of agricultural education at the lower-division, undergraduate level. In the main, this new program addresses the needs of individuals already engaged in the agricultural industries. Due to the unique nature of program delivery (especially the co-op and on-site instructional components), several resources needed for this program will be new to the institution.

Current resources in support of the agriculture programs offered by Dawson Community College are appropriate for the addition of this new certificate program. Again, it is important to point out that substantial portions of the proposed program will be delivered to program participants at their respective farms and ranches, not at the campus. The courses to be taught at the campus (the three support courses and the large group presentations) will not place a burden on the institution. The large lecture hall in the Ullman Center and the existing microcomputer labs will accommodate the needs for these on-campus sessions. Library resources for agriculture programs are up-to-date and in ample number to meet an increased student demand. In addition, Farm/Ranch Business Management students will be taught the use of the Internet and how to maximize this resource for their own educational benefit. In other words, access to current information on the subject matter pertinent to this program will be readily available for all interested students.

To initiate this program, one full-time faculty member will be hired. Qualifications for this position will include: educational preparation from an accredited institution (minimally, an Associate Degree in Agri-Business; preferably a Bachelor’s Degree in the same field); strong microcomputer skills; competence in accounting software (minimally "Quicken;" preferably FMS Harvest "Perceptions"); teaching experience (preferably at the community college level); farming and/or ranching experience.

New instructional resources will include a laptop computer, portable printer, and a vehicle for delivering on-site program instruction. Additional start-up costs include fifteen (15) microcomputers and printers for "loaners" to program students who currently do not own such equipment.

J. Community Participation:

The DCC Farm/Ranch Business Management Advisory Committee is representative of the constituencies that will benefit most from the program – farmers and ranchers, members of lending institutions, and agriculture service/product vendors. Each of these individuals will provide unique viewpoints that will benefit the development and evolution of this unique program.

K. Impact on other programs at DCC:

The addition of this program will have minimal impact on the rest of the institution. However, it will be an enhancement to the current agricultural programming at this institution. Once the program has existed for a few years and produces the expected results, the college could experience increased enrollment in other agricultural programs.

L. Evolution of the Program Concept:

The program concept was presented to the Dawson Community College Academic Affairs Committee and the Board of Trustees by the current President at separate meetings during the late summer and early fall of 1999. Both the Academic Affairs Committee and the Board of Trustees unanimously supported the creation of the program, and encouraged the administration to pursue approval by the Montana Board of Regents. The program concept was brought to Dawson Community College from Colorado where it has been one of the more successful educational ventures for rural community colleges in that state.

M. Program Costs:

The following costs are based on one (1) full-time instructor and related expenses to initiate the program.

Instructional Expenses:

 

Copies

$ 300.00

Computer Supplies

$ 500.00

Office Expense (Cell Phone, etc.)

$ 1,500.00

Cyclical Instructor Computing Replacement Fund

$ 1,167.00

Cyclical Student Loaner Computing Replacement Fund

$ 6,500.00

Total Instructional Expenses

$ 9,967.00

Travel:

 

Vehicle Mileage and Maintenance

$10,000.00

National Farm/Ranch Convention

$ 1,500.00

Total Travel

$11,500.00

Personnel Costs:

 

Instructor Salary & Benefits

$ 36,000.00

Annual Recruitment Expenses

$ 1,000.00

Total Personnel Costs

$ 37,000.00

Start-Up Costs:

 

Loaner Computers (15 @ $1,300 each)

$ 19,500.00

Loaner Printers (15 @ $225 each)

$ 3,375.00

Instructor Laptop and Portable Printer

$ 4,000.00

4-wheel drive Instructor Vehicle

$ 25,000.00

Total Start-Up Costs

$ 51,875.00

Total First Year Costs

$110,642.00

Annual Program Cost for Years 2, 3, 4, & 5

(based on one full-time instructor)

$ 58,000 – 60,000

NOTE: If program demand requires additional full-time instructors, program costs will increase accordingly (faculty compensation, cell phone, laptop and printer, 4-wheel drive vehicle, loaner microcomputers and printers, etc.)

N. Enrollment Impact and Expected Revenues:

Enrollment Impact:

30.0 Annualized FTE minimum per full-time instructor

38.0 Annualized FTE maximum per full-time instructor

Expected Revenue (resulting from one full-time instructor):

Minimum:

 

Tuition and Fees (30 students)

$ 55,500.00

FTE Reimbursement

$ 76,500.00

Minimum Revenue

$132,000.00

Maximum:

 

Tuition and Fees (38 students)

$ 70,300.00

FTE Reimbursement

$ 96,900.00

Maximum Revenue

$167,200.00

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III.      CURRICULUM

A. Curriculum Design:

Farm/Ranch Business Management: 54 credits

AB 141

Farm/Ranch Business Management I

13

AB 142

Farm/Ranch Business Management II

13

AB 151

Farm/Ranch Business Management III

13

AB 152

Farm/Ranch Business Management IV

15

credits = 54

*Mathematics: 3 credits

AB 105

Agricultural Mathematics

3

credits = 3

*Communication: 3 credits

SD 105

Interpersonal Communication

3

credits = 3

*Human Relations:

BU 175

Employer-Employee Relations

3

credits = 3

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* All certificate programs are required by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Colleges to contain "a recognizable body of instruction in three program-related areas: (1) communication, (2) computation, and (3) human relations…"

Three of the four Agri-Business courses (AB 141, 142, and 151) are thirteen semester credit hours each. Each of these courses consists of 192 hours of co-op instruction (5.12 credits), 64 hours of classroom instruction (4.27 credits), and 24 hours of on-site instruction (3.84 credits). The fourth Agri-Business or capstone course (AG 152) is fifteen semester credit hours: 260 hours of co-op instruction (6.93 credits), 64 hours of classroom instruction (4.27 credits), and 24 hours of on-site instruction (3.84 credits).

Contact hours for on-site and co-op components are based on a 60-minute hour, whereas the contact hours for the lecture component are based on a 50-minute hour. The number of clock hours per credit hour is 6.25 for on-site instruction and 37.5 for co-op.

Credit hours to be awarded will be supported by a course syllabus indicating the time required for each phase of the course. This will indicate the number of hours spent in class, in on-site instruction, and in co-op. Each student will be required to document time spent in the co-op phase; this can be in the form of a diary or daily log. The documentation by the instructor will include class meeting times, attendance records, one-to-one/on-site meeting dates and notes from the discussion.

For students successfully completing the two-year curriculum and desiring professional renewal/upgrade in this field, a four-credit course (AB 175 – Professional Renewal) will be offered each term (after the first group completes the program). This latter course can be repeated as needed by the students.

B. Program Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Farm/Ranch Business Management courses, students will be able to:

1

establish and review family and farm/ranch goals;

2

understand the use of a personal computer;

3

understand computer terminology;

4

understand the basic functions of a double-entry accounting software;

5

enter monthly records on a personal computer;

6

post transactions and check for accuracy;

7

utilize balance sheets, income statements, and cash flows;

8

review and update family and farm/ranch goals;

9

comprehend and apply basic marketing principles;

10

enter a budget in the double-entry accounting software program;

11

complete end-of-year closing of financial records on the computer;

12

update the unit’s financial records on the double-entry accounting software program on a regular basis;

13

use a cash flow in a decision-making process;

14

complete a cash flow projection based on Farm Financial Standards (FFS);

15

understand ratios and trends;

16

comprehend the advantages and limitations of major reorganization alternatives;

17

continue the implementation of appropriate Farm Financial Standards (FFS);

18

identify the organization best suited to the client’s farm/ranch; and

19

develop a three- to five-year marketing plan for the unit.

Upon successful completion of the three support courses (Agricultural Mathematics, Employer-Employee Relations, and Interpersonal Communications), the student will be able to:

1

assure the mastery of basic computational skills (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals);

2

demonstrate mathematical efficiency on the 10-key pad of a personal computer;

3

demonstrate problem-solving abilities applicable to agricultural concepts of production;

4

use mathematics to assure accurate daily financial management of the production unit;

5

understand various organizational designs and respective strengths and weaknesses;

6

comprehend changes in the modern workplace and the effects of such changes on the individual;

7

apply basic time management skills and stress management techniques;

8

develop the skills necessary to establish and maintain effective working relationship with employees;

9

demonstrate an understanding of communication skills, group behavior concepts, motivation techniques, leadership techniques, and management skills;

10

comprehend current changes in the workplace and their effects on individuals;

11

employ appropriate time management skills and stress management techniques; and

12

develop an understanding of effective decision-making skills and apply those skills in a variety of work environment situations.

C. Course Descriptions:

AB 105

Agricultural Mathematics

2 credits

Students will apply practical math skills specifically to assure competency in maintaining accurate accounting records. Topics will include the mathematics of buying and selling, calculation of interest, banking, payroll, workman’s compensation, taxes, installment buying, partial payments, and depreciation. In addition, students will learn to use the 10-key pad on a personal computer.

AB 141

Farm/Ranch Business Management I

13 credits

The goal of the first year of the Farm/Ranch Business Management program is to data enter farm/ranch records on a personal computer using a double-entry accounting method and to continue adding month-to-month records throughout the year. Students will gain familiarity with the different financial statements and their use in making sound business decisions. This course is the first of a two-course sequence constituting the first year of the program.

AB 142

Farm/Ranch Business Management II

13 credits

The goal of the first year of the Farm/Ranch Business Management program is to data enter farm/ranch records on a personal computer using a double-entry accounting method and to continue adding month-to-month records throughout the year. Students will gain familiarity with the different financial statements and their use in making sound business decisions. Students will also become familiar with profitability and efficiency analysis by enterprise. Interactions between enterprises are stressed. This course is the second of a two-course sequence constituting the first year of the program.

AB 151

Farm/Ranch Business Management III

13 credits

The goals of the second year of the Farm/Ranch Business Management program are a continuation of the computerized record keeping process developed during the first year and consider changes to assure future viability for the production unit. Competition for limiting resources, resource improvement effects, and complimentary enterprises are identified. Alternative combinations are considered and encouraged where advantageous. This course will continue to include one-on-one work on the client's farm or ranch. This course is the first of a two-course sequence constituting the second year of the program.

AB 152

Farm/Ranch Business Management IV

15 credits

The goals of the second year of the Farm/Ranch Business Management program are a continuation of the computerized record keeping process developed during the first year and consider changes to assure future viability for the production unit. In addition to the topics initiated in the first course of this sequence, students will develop a comprehensive marketing plan for their production/business unit. This course will continue to include one-on-one work on the client's farm or ranch. This course is the second of a two-course sequence constituting the second year of the program.

AB 175

Professional Renewal

4 credits

Professional Renewal is a class for farmers and ranchers who have successfully completed the two-year Farm/Ranch Business Management certificate program and who desire to upgrade their knowledge and skills in this rapidly-changing business environment. Topics will cover current livestock and crop production practices, marketing techniques, new products and processing procedures. Private on-site instruction will address individual needs and accounting records.

BU 175

Employer-Employee Relations

2 credits

The study of the interaction of people in business is the focus of this course. Topics will include organizational designs and issues, building and maintaining effective working relations with employees, maximizing employee productivity, employer and employee rights.

SD 105

Interpersonal Communication

2 credits

This course is a practical study of personal communication between people. Discussions cover perception, the verbal and nonverbal tools of communication, listening, personal disclosure, conflict management, and relationship development. The overall goal of the course is to increase the range of choices students can make in their personal and professional interactions.

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