HLGU to add Agribusiness as new business concentration

Hannibal-LaGrange is pleased to offer agriculture as a new business concentration beginning in January.

The program has been designed for students wishing to return to a farming operation after graduation as well as students who wish to become involved in either agriculture sales or in an agriculture management position.

“We truly believe that our ag business program is uniquely positioned at the intersection of faith, food, and freedom,” said Tim Finlay, instructor of business. “We know that agriculture is embodied in faith and freedom as this industry provides food for a rapidly growing population.”

This new program will allow students to gain hands-on experience in the world of agribusiness, learn from traditional courses such as marketing, accounting and finance, and sales, and participate in an agriculture internship.

“The agribusiness concentration is the perfect complement to our strong undergraduate program in business administration,” Finlay said. “We have faculty teaching these ag courses that have real-world experiences with on-farm production, agribusiness management, and leadership, coupled with studying agriculture and business at Midwest land-grant universities. We are truly excited about the potential value that we will be creating for our students, our communities and the ag-based employers where they may be employed.”

The business faculty is also excited about the opportunity this program creates for transfer students.

“We have attempted to make the program transfer-friendly with local junior colleges,” said Jerry Allen, adjunct associate professor of business. “It will allow the student to attend a junior college for two years and come to Hannibal-LaGrange University and complete a business degree with an emphasis in Ag Management in 4 years total with a little planning.”

Allen also noted, where a lot of programs are heavily science based, HLGU will take a much different approach and emphasize the role of business in agriculture.

The program will primarily be led and taught by Finlay and Allen. Finlay earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Quincy University. He’s a certified public accountant (CPA) with 30 years of executive leadership experience, of which 25 years were in the animal nutrition business with a Fortune 50 Global Food company. Finlay was also raised on a farm and has been involved in animal agriculture his entire life.

Likewise, Allen earned an MBA, with an emphasis in marketing, from University of Missouri, Columbia. He’s a member of both the Ralls County and Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, and serves on the Soil and Water Conservation Board for Ralls County. Allen has 44 years of teaching experience and 20 years of retail business experience. He and his wife Meri have owned and operated a cattle farm for almost 40 years, running a cow-calf operation with Shorthorn/Angus cross cattle.

Dr. Larinee Dennis, vice president for academic administration, said this new concentration will also expand HLGU’s reach to service the needs of prospective students and the community.

“HLGU is physically located in the rural tri-state area of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, and over the years we’ve heard prospective students express an interest in studying agribusiness.  Until now, we haven’t been able to meet that need,” said Dennis. “The new agribusiness concentration in the business administration degree program will equip students to learn the necessary business knowledge and skills to support agriculture endeavors on a small or large scale.”

For more information on the new agribusiness concentration contact Tim Finlay at 573.629.3028 or tim.finlay@hlg.edu.