Page 15 - winter 07-08

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By Allie Layos ‘09
Dawn Thurnau of the Missouri Beef Industry Council is enthusiastic
about the new master of business administration (MBA) degree in
agribusiness now offered at William Woods University. “I’ve been
singing its praises for months,” she exclaimed.
WWU is one of the few universities in the United States to offer this
specialized program, which emphasizes critical agribusiness con-
cepts to prepare students for the highly competitive, increasing
globalized and rapidly changing agriculture industry.
This 36-credit-hour MBA program includes such courses as agri-
culture law, policy and futures trading, in addition to traditional
MBA courses in executive management, economics, organiza-
tional business, entrepreneurship, marketing research, marketing
planning and development, accounting and fnancial decision-
Thurnau, who is currently enrolled in the MBA agribusiness pro-
gram, was raised on a cattle farm, but she felt that there was a lot
she didn’t know about agriculture outside of the beef industry.
“I have been the marketing director of the Missouri Beef Industry
Council for the last seven years. We are funded by every single
cattle producer through the $1 per head beef check-off program,
and we use that money to promote beef through various chan-
nels. The most recognizable is the ‘Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner’
campaign, but we also work with key infuencers such as retail
supermarkets and dietitians to help consumers understand the
importance of beef as part of a healthy diet,” said Thurnau.
“I felt like it was my obligation as a leader in this industry to under-
stand the broader scope of American agriculture’s impact on the
global economy,” she said. So, she enrolled in the agribusiness
program, and found the courses to be challenging, but “innova-
tive, eye-opening and very rewarding.”
“The agriculture policy class was so thought-provoking! We really
took the time to examine the Farm Bill and fgure out the conse-
quences (both intended and unintended) to farmers and urban
populations alike. I am also really looking forward to the hedging
[futures trading] class; it’s a concept that I’ve never understood
as well as I should. These two concepts—policy and hedging—
are the cornerstones of agribusiness; anyone in a leadership role
should be well-versed on both,” said Thurnau.
MBA AgriBusiness Program Takes Root
@ The Woods and Across Missouri