Introduction to Food and Agribusiness Management

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9780130145772: Introduction to Food and Agribusiness Management

This complete introduction to the entire field of agribusiness provides detailed coverage of the four basic topics of business: accounting, financing, marketing, and management,—as well as forms of business organization. Chapter topics include an overview of food and agribusiness management; understanding financial statements; financial analysis and planning; financing the agribusiness; capital investment analysis; strategic marketing; the marketing mix; operations management; managing organizations; and human resources management. For an understanding of the rapidly changing, increasingly industrialized and global area of agribusiness management.

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Written by authors with over 75 years of collective teaching and industry experience Introduction to Food and Agribusiness Management prepares readers to confront the host of unique issues that challenge today's agribusiness industry managers.

The depth and diversity of experiences Baker, Grunewald and Gorman bring to this subject are combined with case studies, applications and solid principles of finance, marketing, operations, organizational management and human resources to prepare tomorrow's managers for the distinct challenges they will face in the food and agribusiness system.

KEY FEATURES OF THIS BOOK INCLUDE:

Managerial Perspective — the authors believe that no amount of technical skills will compensate for a lack of sound management skills. For this reason, they cover specific management tools (such as brand management, human resource management and financial management) while paying special attention to the unique challenges of the agribusiness industry (such as vagaries of nature and weather, politics of international trade and policy, and food safety risks).

Focus on Application — the purpose of each business management tool is clearly explained and illustrated through examples.

Case Studies — each chapter is introduced with a case study to demonstrate the importance and relevance of the subject matter included in the chapter and to integrate and apply each chapter's content.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

OVERVIEW

Our goal in writing this book is to provide students and instructors with a book that approaches the management of food and agribusiness firms from a managerial perspective, in a highly understandable style. This book covers many of the areas of expertise that today's managers must master—finance, marketing, operations, forms of business ownership, organizational management, and human resources. Today's food and agribusiness industry managers must also confront a host of issues unique to the industry. These include the vagaries of nature and weather, the politics of agricultural policy and international trade, food safety risks, environmental risks, and issues associated with emerging technologies. In organizing and presenting the material we have paid special attention to the distinct challenges faced by managers in the food and agribusiness system.

Collectively, we have over 75 years experience teaching and practicing the management of food and agribusiness firms. We have taught students at all stages of their careers—undergraduate students, graduate students, middle managers, and executives. And we have taught in a variety of settings—public and private universities, and in Colleges of Agriculture and Schools of Business. The depth and diversity of our experiences have provided us with the perspective from which we have written this book.

TARGET AUDIENCE

This book is written primarily for students in an introductory course in agribusiness management or food business management. Such a course is often required to lay the foundation for students majoring in agribusiness management or a related major. Many students of other agricultural disciplines, such as Animal Science, Agronomy, Soil Science, Horticulture, or Agricultural Engineering also take an introductory course in agribusiness or food business management to broaden their education or because they lave management aspirations. Because of the comprehensive nature of the book, it will also serve as a good resource for anyone who wants a broad overview of business management as it applies to food and agribusiness firms.

INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL

The instructor's manual, which is available to educators using this book, provides instructors with a variety of supporting materials for teaching with the book. Instructors, both new and experienced, teaching in the field of food and agribusiness firm management will find the manual a highly useful accompaniment to the textbook. The instructors' manual includes:

  • Teaching outlines for each chapter
  • PowerPoint slides for use in presentations (these may be modified by the instructor to suit specific needs)
  • Problem assignments designed to reinforce key concepts
  • Case teaching notes
  • Answers to review questions
  • Sample quizzes and answers
  • Sample examination questions and answers

KEY FEATURES

Managerial Perspective
Successful food and agribusiness firm managers must first and foremost be good managers. We believe that managers in the food and agribusiness industry must be trained as well as their counterparts in other industries. No amount of technical skills will compensate for the lack of sound management skills. For this reason we have organized the textbook along the same lines as a business management text. We cover specific management tools including brand management, human resources management, operations management, and financial management. The unique characteristics of managing in the food and agribusiness industry are addressed through the application of the concepts and in the examples.

Focus on Application
Another distinguishing feature of this textbook is the emphasis on the application of the concepts. The business management tools that we have included in the book are everyday tools used by successful business managers. Their value lies in the application of the techniques we cover to problems faced by real-world businesses. For this reason, we clearly explain the purpose of each tool and illustrate its use through examples. Students are given the opportunity to reinforce their learning of the most important concepts through the case studies.

Case Studies
The case studies that lead off every chapter, except the introductory chapter, are a distinguishing feature of this textbook. They serve to indicate the importance and relevance of the subject matter contained in each chapter and as a mechanism for integrating and applying each chapter's content. The use of case study analysis and discussion is a time-tested strategy for teaching business management. Students and professors will find the use of our case studies a refreshing change from the traditional course lecture.

Readability
We anticipate that most students reading this book will have little or no background in business management or agribusiness management. We also understand that our readers' knowledge of agriculture will vary from very little to extensive. Because this book is intended for use in an introductory course, we introduce each business management concept as if the reader is seeing it for the first time. New terms are identified in italics and defined for the reader. Examples of complex concepts are provided.

Stand-Alone Chapters
We have designed each chapter to be as independent from other chapters as possible. We have done this for several reasons. Most importantly, instructors often want to present the material in an order different from the way it is presented in the book. Second, instructors often choose not to, or don't have sufficient time to, cover every chapter in the book. Lastly, because this book can also be a resource for food and agribusiness firm managers, it is important that the chapters be largely self-contained. For these reasons, we have written the book so that each chapter can be easily understood without having read prior chapters. The lone exception to this rule is Chapter 3, Financial Statements. Because an understanding of financial terms is critical to understanding many other business management concepts, we recommend covering this chapter early.

Organization of the Book
The book is organized along the lines of the major functional areas of business management. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the subject of managing food and agribusiness firms. Chapter 2 discusses the forms of business ownership. This is followed by four chapters addressing the financial aspects of managing a business. Chapter 3 covers financial statements, Chapter 4 covers financial analysis and budgeting, Chapter 5 discusses sources of financing, and Chapter 6 addresses capital budgeting and investment analysis. The next two chapters are devoted to marketing, with Chapter 7 addressing strategic marketing and Chapter 8 covering the marketing decisions known as the marketing mix. Chapter 9 addresses the operational aspects of management. In Chapter 10 we discuss organizational management. Lastly, human resources management is covered in Chapter 11.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We would like to thank the numerous people who contributed to the publication of this book. In particular, we would like to thank the students who have used earlier versions of this manuscript and who provided feedback (whether we asked for it or not). We wish to acknowledge and thank our colleagues who reviewed the text and offered their suggestions for improvement: John W. Siebert, Texas A&M University, College Station; and Robert H. Usry, North Carolina State University. We are grateful, too, for the assistance of Lydia Duran, who typed several drafts of this manuscript.

COMMENTS

We tried to make this textbook as comprehensive as possible without being unduly long. The authors of any introductory textbook must balance the concern for comprehensiveness versus conciseness. This involves determining what to include and what to omit, what to address in detail and what to simplify. We hope we have chosen well. We have attempted to ensure that the book is free of errors—factual, grammatical, and otherwise. If you have comments, we would like to hear from you. Please send them to Gregory A. Baker by fax: 408554-5167, e-mail: gbaker@scu.edu, or mail: Food and Agribusiness Institute, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California, 95053-0396, U.S.A.

Gregory A. Baker
Orlen Grunewald
William D. Gorman

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