All course information is listed within this syllabus.

AGBM 200: Introduction to Agricultural Business Management (3 credits). Application of management principles and processes to agricultural business firms in their planning and operating in domestic and international markets.

Prerequisites: None


Instructor for AGBM 200

William Jeffrey Rossman

Phone: 814-883-2581
E-mail: Use Canvas Inbox

I will do my best to respond to your e-mails within 24 hours, and I will let you know if I'm going to be unavailable for any length of time.

Course Overview

AGBM 200 is a course for people who want to add a business management foundation to a technical major from the College of Agricultural Sciences. The combination of your technical and business management skills is what employers most desire when they look for potential employees. This is why the faculty in your department made this a required course.

Regardless of your major, most people find themselves as business managers at some time during their careers managing time, money, and people. When you complete AGBM 200 successfully you will have a solid knowledge of the critical agribusiness skills and their application so you will be able to handle just about any management situation you may encounter.

No prior business experience is required or expected to succeed in this course.

Course Objectives

Helping You Learn the Stuff You Need Out There to Be Successful!

At the end of AGBM 200 you will be able to explain:

  1. how agribusiness firms operate in a global agri-food system that stretches from those who provide farmers and ranchers with the things they need to produce a crop all the way to those who put food on our tables—"From Dirt to Dinner!"
  2. how what you do during your career to expand and improve the global agri-food system will determine whether the world will continue to be able to feed its growing population
  3. the role that business management has in the successful operation of an agribusiness firm
  4. the common business management principle that unifies everything a manager does is the desire to maximize the long-run profits of the firm by profitably satisfying customers' needs; maximizing long-run profits means you're using all your resources efficiently—you are sustainable; profitably satisfying customers' needs means you are effective—you are doing the right things; you will do all this while enhancing the economic well-being of your customers, employees, and investors
  5. the interrelated nature of the four functions of management—planning, organizing, controlling, and directing—and how they help agribusiness managers accomplish their goals
  6. why agribusiness management is an art supported by science
  7. the difference between managing things and leading people
  8. how the quality of the people you employ and how well you lead them makes the difference between success and failure
  9. the two golden rules of agribusiness management—be the kind of boss you would like to work for and treat the customers the way the customers want to be treated

Course Schedule

For due dates, refer to the Course Summary on the Syllabus page in Canvas.

Course Materials

Most World Campus courses require that students purchase materials (e.g., textbooks, specific software, etc.). To learn about how to order materials, please see the Course Materials page. You should check the World Campus Course Catalog approximately 3–4 weeks before the course begins for a list of required materials.


ISBN: 978-1478605669
Beierlein, J. G., Schneeberger, K. C., & Osburn, D. D. (2014). Principles of Agribusiness Management (5th ed.). Waveland Press, Inc.

You may purchase course materials from Barnes & Noble College (the bookstore used by Penn State's World Campus). For pricing and ordering information, please see the Barnes & Noble College website. Materials will be available at Barnes & Noble College approximately three weeks before the course begins. Alternatively, you may obtain these texts from other favorite bookstores. Be sure you purchase the edition/publication date listed.


Your grade will be determined by the total number of points you earn on the two exams and your homework assignments. I will do my best to have your assignments graded within one week.

The first examination covers Modules 1–7. It is worth 210 points.

The final examination covers Modules 8–14. It is worth 210 points.

End of Module Assignments

Each assignment is worth 28 points (unless otherwise indicated).

Late homework will not be accepted without prior approval.

To receive full credit for the answers to the short answer questions you must answer all the questions assigned. To receive full credit for case solutions, you must submit at least 250 words.

Grading Policy

The following table is the grading criteria for the course.

Grading Criteria
Requirement Cumulative Point Value
Exams 420
Assignment Quizzes 392
TOTAL: 812

The following table is the grading scheme for the course.

Grading Scheme
Letter Grade Percentage Points
A 100% – 95% 771–812
A- < 95% – 90% 731–770
B+ < 90% – 86.9% 706–730
B < 86.9% – 82.9% 673–705
B- < 82.9% – 80% 650–672
C+ < 80% – 76.9% 624–649
C < 76.9% – 70% 568–623
D < 70% – 60% 487–567
F < 60% 0–486

Please refer to the University Grading Policy for Undergraduate Courses for additional information.

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Resources.

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Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it is assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on World Campus' Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the internet).
  • You must be able to conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the internet.

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Accessibility Information


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Penn State Policies

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Students are expected to log in regularly to keep up to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

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Your course will be available to you beginning the first day of class and will remain open for one year. After one year the course will close.

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Please read the academic integrity guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University's academic integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff, and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University's standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

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Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

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Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.

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