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.


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 the 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 your 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


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 MBS Direct (the bookstore used by Penn State's World Campus). For pricing and ordering information, please see the MBS Direct website. MBS Direct can also be contacted at 1-800-325-3252. Materials will be available at MBS Direct 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.

Grading Policy

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.

The final examination covers Modules 8–14.

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.

The maximum number of points you can earn on each activity is:

Grading Criteria
Requirement Point Value
Exam 1 (Modules 1–7) 210
Final Exam (Modules 8–14) 210
End of Module Assignments 392
TOTAL: 812

Your semester grade will be determined by the number of points you earn:

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.

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on the 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.

Accessibility Information

  • Accessibility statement for Canvas.


The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Support Services

As a World Campus student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more. Please visit the World Campus Student Services page for more information.

If you experience technology problems of any kind in Canvas, please select the Help icon and select "Report a Canvas Problem," "Chat with Support," or "Call Support." It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as: the specific course page, quiz question, etc. you were on; what you attempted to do when that failed; the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen; the date and time when your problem occurred; and any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.).

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through an introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Penn State Policies

Log-In Policy

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.

Course Availability

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

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

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.

Educational Equity Statement

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity at the Report Bias webpage.

Privacy Policies

For information about Penn State's privacy statement and what it encompasses, please read their web privacy statement. Visit Penn State's FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff webpage for information regarding its rules on governing the privacy of student educational records.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor's express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University's Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional well-being. The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients' cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 814-863-0395
  • Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
  • Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741
  • Mental Health Services

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

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

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

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