Agribusiness Certificate


Agribusiness is the business and management of agricultural operations. The term encompasses the range of activities and disciplines contributing to contemporary agricultural production. Agribusiness management and planning skills help ensure a profitable, safe, and sustainable business. Agribusiness management is the second-largest specialization for undergraduate programs in land-grant universities across the nation.

CTAHR’s Agribusiness Certificate program is designed to meet the needs of students who want a competitive advantage when entering the agriculture and food systems job market. The program will provide students the opportunity to apply business, management, and economic principles to agribusinesses and to understand what differentiates agriculture and ag-related products and services from other businesses. The basic business literacy offered through the Agribusiness Certificate program will benefit all CTAHR and life sciences graduates, whatever their field, interest, or career choice.


“Business skills are a definite requirement for today’s agriculture.”
—Herbert “Monty” Richards, President, Kahua Ranch

“The focus on agribusiness is critical for Hawai‘i right now.”
—Susan Matsushima,  President, Alluvion, Inc.

“Agribusiness will give you tools for your business to prosper and open doors to new opportunities.”
—Derek Kurisu, Executive Vice-President, KTA Super Stores


The Agribusiness Certificate Program strives to provide you with the skills needed in agribusiness management and entrepreneurship. The Program offers the following:

    • Entrepreneurial skills essential for starting and managing a successful, sustainable agricultural business.
    • Opportunities for hands-on experience with modern management science techniques that assist agribusiness managers and industry analysts to make sound business decisions.
    • Increased proficiency in formulating and implementing problems using computer models, with emphasis on spreadsheets.
    • Real-world opportunities to evaluate information from a variety of sources in making crucial business decisions.
    • Improved economic decision-making ability.
    • Better understanding of marketing, management, and finance, including the ways traditional business-school approaches must be modified for perishable plant and animal products raised on land or in the water.

Upon the successful completion of the required courses, you will receive an Agribusiness Certification. Your academic record will indicate that you have been awarded a Certificate in Agribusiness Management.

The program, based in CTAHR’s Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, is open to all undergraduate students. The Certificate requires that you take three 300-level and either a 400-level (DE) (TPSS/NREM/ECON 429) or HDFS 350 Leadership and Group Process course or equivalent, as the agribusinesses core courses for a total of 12 credits. All the courses have the prerequisite of ECON 130 Principles of Economics, or an equivalent. A passing grade in all four courses is required to complete the certificate. Each course is offered once a year, with two courses scheduled in the Fall semester and two in the Spring semester. The four courses can be taken in any sequence.


TPSS 322 Farm and Food Marketing
Explains marketing and markets; the differences between agriculture and other businesses; market structure, conduct, and performance; adding value; the functional/utility approach; niche marketing; product positioning and market segmentation; product pricing; futures and hedging; the role of market information; market and consumer research; strategic marketing; and marketing plans (Fall semester).

TPSS/NREM 341 Accounting & Financial Analysis
Focuses on the application of analytical managerial decision-making techniques to identify and solve common agribusiness problems. Familiarizes students with the principles and methods of agricultural accounting. Helps to develop skills in preparing and interpreting financial statements. Acquaints students with sources and cost of credit, tax management, and estate planning. Provides opportunities to evaluate capital budget projects (Fall semester).

TPSS 351 Enterprise Management
Gives an overview of financial tools essential for developing new enterprises, analyzing business performance, obtaining bank financing, improving profitability, and reducing risk. The course helps students learn to identify financial and economic problems and causes and to evaluate and select possible solutions through financial and economic analyses. Other topics include personnel management, taxation, and business plans (Spring semester).

TPSS/NREM/ECON 429 Spreadsheet Modeling for Business and Economic Analysis
Provides a one-semester introductory survey of modern management science techniques. These can assist agribusiness managers and industry analysts to make sound business decisions, gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience in solving common problems faced by agribusiness firms, develop proficiency in formulating and implementing problems using computer simulations with emphasis on spreadsheet models, and generate information for decision-making from computer models and evaluate the information provided to improve decision-making (Spring semester).

TPSS/NREM/ECON 429 can be replaced by HDFS 350 Leadership and Group Process  Exploration of leadership research and theories and their application to leadership development; designed to enhance personal and interactive leadership.

Find out more about and consult CTAHR undergraduate advisors here.

If you feel you have completed the required courses please contact the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences.

April 2017