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Winter 2009
Dawn Thurnau
of the Missouri Beef Industry Council is enthusias-
tic about WWU’s new master of business administration (MBA)
degree in agribusiness. “I’ve been singing its praises
for months,” she exclaimed.
WWU is one of the few universities in the U.S. to offer this
specialized program, which emphasizes critical agribusiness
concepts to prepare students for this highly competitive,
increasingly globalized and rapidly changing industry.
This 36-credit-hour MBA program includes agriculture law,
policy and futures trading, in addition to traditional MBA
courses in executive management, economics,
organizational business, entrepreneurship, marketing
research, marketing, accounting and fnancial
Thurnau, a current student, 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 seven years. I felt like it was my obligation
as a leader in this industry to understand the broader scope
of American agriculture’s impact on the global economy,”
she said. She enrolled in the agribusiness program and found
the courses to be "challenging, innovative, eye-opening and
very rewarding."
Thurnau values WWU’s cohort structure for adult education.
“Going through the program with the same 20 people adds
camaraderie and accountability,” she said. “Our group is so
diverse; I’ve noticed that I now attempt to think through
all sides of an argument
I voice my opinion.”
Joshua Gordon
is a foodservice consultant for Banta Foods,
a division of Reinhart Foodservices. Gordon has enjoyed the
program, but he, too, names the cohort structure as his favor-
ite part of The Woods experience. “I enjoy the family that is
developing with everyone in my class,” said Gordon. “You
don’t get this type of closeness and open discussion in
larger class settings.”
Terry Culver
, director of Columbia and Jefferson City campus
operations, feels that the program is strong, with a unique
niche and structure. “Our strengths are our classroom
facilitators, who have a long background of education and
experience in Ag. Of course having several people on the
Graduate & Adult Studies staff with Ag backgrounds and
degrees doesn’t hurt either,” said Culver.
Graduate & Adult Studies: Onward and Upward
By Allie Layos '09
New MBA AgriBusiness Degree