January 11-12, 2006

 

ITEM 130-201-R0106                  Approval of Proposal to Offer a One Year Certificate Program in Agricultural Marketing and Financial Analysis

 

THAT:                                       The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Dawson Community College (DCC) to award a Certificate to any student who completes the one year program.

 

EXPLANATION:                        Dawson Community College requests approval to offer a 1-year certificate program in Agricultural Marketing and Financial Analysis.

 

This proposal presents the effort of Dawson Community College to meet the financial analyses and marketing needs of the agricultural community.  The curriculum design borrows from the successful Farm Ranch Business Management Program (FRBM), in that the majority of the student contact is in a one on one environment, serving each student’s individual learning requirements. The program is designed to work with the time constraints of the fully employed agricultural producers. The program will consist of classroom presentations of general information relative to financial analyses and marketing alternatives and individualized instruction focused on each student’s marketing or financial analysis needs.

 

All students will be actively involved in production agriculture and as such are not seeking new employment but rather skills to improve their current situation.

 

This program is intended to develop risk management, commodity marketing, value-added marketing, and financial analysis skills among Montana’s agricultural producers. Students will learn principles and research skills in these areas and concentrate in particularly relevant areas for their farm or ranch with one or more major, long term projects.

 

Production Agriculture is a major Montana industry.  This program has the potential to further increase net income to Montana’s agricultural producers. By teaching the marketing and financial analysis tools needed by today's ever more sophisticated farmers and ranchers, DCC will increase the stability of those family businesses.

 

Additionally, as this program expands to the other locations served by DCC's Farm/Ranch Business Management certificate program, this program will provide benchmarking data for Montana’s agricultural producers. Similar programs in other states, including North Dakota, submit anonymous statistics from producers to a national database.  DCC would send Montana’s information to be included in this database after a sufficient number of producers become involved.  That goal will take approximately two or three years to accomplish assuming that the AMFA program starts in those other locations in Fall Semester 2006.

 

Inclusion in this national database (FINBIN) would mean the availability of benchmarking financial and production data for Montana’s farmers and ranchers. Such information has been available for years in other states and those states have found it valuable enough to continue their financial support.