SVCC Offers Spring Agribusiness Courses

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, January 5, 2012

Whether an agricultural producer or a food consumer, each of us is affected by what happens within our food production system. Southside Virginia Community College's agribusiness program assesses all aspects of the food production system.

Spring course offerings include three traditional seated daytime courses. In the agribusiness management and finance (AGR 143) course, students will learn the functions of management (planning, organizing, directing, and controlling) and will simulate running their own farm supply store in order to practice their management skills related to sales forecasts, inventory management, hiring and firing of personnel, and credit and debt management. Students will compete against other students to try to accumulate the highest net worth during the semester.

The human resources class (AGR 144) will walk students through all aspects of hiring a new employee, from determining the exact need within the business, to drafting a job description and devising a plan for soliciting applicants and then narrowing the applicant pool. Interview strategies will be devised to determine the best person for the job, and offer and rejection letters will be drafted. Insights into managing personnel and personnel issues will be discussed throughout the semester.

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The professional selling class (AGR 232) explores sales and marketing careers in the agricultural industry. Within the course, students will analyze customers' personality profiles and needs and will formulate an effective value-based sales presentation. The course provides insights on the psychology of personality styles, buyer motivation, and conflict resolution.

An online class in alternative energy (AGR 244) explores animal and plant products that produce energy, as well as wind and solar energy solutions. The class will help students assess current energy use of an existing residential or commercial site and implement energy reduction strategies for the site. The course will provide a foundation for discovering new ways to help farms, homes, and agribusinesses reduce costs and research new opportunities for enhancing profitability.

A food and agricultural policy course (AGR 241) will be offered as a hybrid course, meeting in person on Monday evenings and supplemented with an online lecture during the week. This course is very timely, as Congress is negotiating a new Farm Bill in 2012. The majority of expenditures in the Farm Bill are directed towards food policies, while critical elements will be negotiated to assist farm profitability. The course will discuss how policies are made, starting at the grassroots level and working up to lobbying efforts at the state and national level. Attention will be paid to personal and professional leadership skills that build consensus and collaboratively solve food and agricultural issues. Content will address current policy and public programs related to taxation, land use, environmental protection, water quality, and quality of rural life.

To register for any of the AGR courses, visit First-time enrollees should click on the admissions link and complete the registration request. Current students can enroll utilizing MySVCC. For additional information about the courses or the degrees offered through the agribusiness program, contact Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton at or 434-949-1053. Classes start Monday, January 9, and can be added until Friday, January 13.