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Kansas State University award-winning agribusiness program coming to Southeast Asia
The Kansas State University Master of Agribusiness (MAB) distance-degree program understands how important it is for agribusiness professionals to have the knowledge and skills to excel in today’s rapidly changing, and increasingly complex, global food and agricultural economy. Established in 1998, more than 300 individuals from around the world have been trained through the MAB program to apply cutting-edge business and economic concepts to the food and agriculture sector. Working with industry partners including the National Renderers Association, U.S. Soybean Export Council, U.S. Grains Council, and U.S. Wheat, the MAB program is exploring the possibility of creating a new section of the program in Southeast Asia.
“Having worked commercially in shipping and agricultural commodities trading in Southeast Asia for over 15 years, I wanted to upgrade my knowledge and skills in agribusiness when I learned of KSU’s MAB Program. The comprehensive curriculum and structure of learning offered a good balance between study and work. The highly relevant and up-to-date subjects introduced in the MAB program complemented nicely the work that I was doing for the American Soybean Association International Marketing as its Marketing Director for Southeast Asia in Singapore,” Timothy Loh, MAB Alumnus, said.
MAB students earn a master’s degree in 2 ½ years while doing course work using the internet, DVD, podcasts, and multi-audio chatrooms. Currently, students visit K-State during four one-week campus sessions where they meet other students and faculty, receive training on the technology used, interact with industry leaders and give group project presentations. In the proposed new cohort, the “on-campus” portion of the program will be offered at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Malaysia, beginning in May 2011 and the curriculum will be adapted to Southeast Asia’s business environment.
“Interest in the MAB program from those outside the United States continues to grow. Many agribusiness professionals have expressed a desire to obtain a masters degree to equip them with business and economic skills and an increased understanding of the food and agribusiness system on a global scale. They understand the need for quality education and admire the reputation that Kansas State University and the Master of Agribusiness program share. However, many international students have difficulty participating in a U.S. program due to the time needed for traveling to the U.S. for on-campus sessions and to a lesser extent U.S. visa issues. The new Southeast Asia cohort will provide international agribusiness students another option for continuing their education,” said Dr. Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director of the Master of Agribusiness program said.
Not only an option for professionals in Southeast Asia, employees of multi-national companies may find this new cohort offers an even greater international education. The MAB program has a globally diverse mix of students in its current classes, but the opportunity to study abroad enhances the international learning experience and creates global industry connections. “While I knew the Ag equipment business from my years of work experience, I realized the need to update, broaden and deepen my analysis and quantitative decision making skills. I chose the MAB program due to its focus on agribusiness topics and direct approach to developing the new skills and knowledge I wanted,” Dave Rock, an MAB Alumnus and Manager, Dealer Strategy with John Deere Company in Lenexa, Kans., said. “Our business is increasingly global. The opportunity to complete the same program with campus sessions at an international location would’ve been an even deeper experience. The chance to learn first-hand about another culture and make international industry contacts adds even more value to a first-class program.”
K-State’s Master of Agribusiness is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness industry and are located in more than 35 states within the United States and in 25 countries.
The program, launched in 1998 and now in its 13th year of agribusiness education, was the first graduate agribusiness program in the U.S. to be offered through distance education. The executive-style, distance education delivery breaks down barriers associated with earning a master’s degree, such as access to a university campus, job changes, relocations and job-related travel. The MAB program is currently accepting applications for the January 2011 cohort based in Manhattan, Kans. If you are interested in the current program or would like more information about the Southeast Asian MAB cohort as it develops, please call 785.532.4495, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.mab.ksu.edu.