College of Business unveils new agribusiness certificates


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Evan Couch, News Editor

The College of Business unveiled two new continuing education certificates that are set to roll out in the fall of 2022, where both focus on agribusiness. 

According to CWU’s continuing education page, the Food and Agribusiness Management and Marketing Certificate will focus on strategic marketing decisions, marketing and promotion, HR management and economic and policy analytics.

CWU’s continuing education page also states that the Applied Agribusiness Technology certificate will focus on agribusiness technology, programming and data management and data-based agribusiness decisions to “make the food and agriculture industries more efficient, sustainable, transparent and responsive to rapidly shifting consumer behavior.”

“These programs are designed for working professionals in the food and agriculture sectors who are seeking additional qualifications, for instance for changing positions or moving up into management,” said Dr. Claudia Dumitrescu, the faculty lead for the upcoming programs, in a CWU news release. 

According to Dumitrescu, starting in the fall, both education certificates are designed to allow current CWU students to pursue them as well as current working professionals who are looking to add to their specialization.

Each certificate can be completed in a single academic year. Dumitrescu also said for continuing education students who are currently working professionals, the certificates are condensed into a six and a half month period to allow for flexibility of schedule. 

The Food and Agribusiness Management and Marketing Certificate is 23-25 credits and the Applied Agribusiness Technology Certificate is 21-25 credits according to Dumitrescu. Each will have three required courses and two elective courses. The elective courses allow students to pick what interests them.

“The beauty is that students, in terms of electives, [they] can take any electives, any courses out of 30 plus elective courses that can range from business, wine, geography … you name it,” Dumitrescu said.

With the certificates being able to be completed in an academic year, Dumitrescu said she hopes they will be able to help students and professionals immediately apply work skills to their profession after completion.

“The key is that the programs give the students the opportunity to learn the skills [and] obtain the knowledge that are immediately applicable to their job,” Dumitrescu said. 

According to Dumitrescu, these programs are industry driven and are designed to address workforce needs that were identified in the food and agriculture industries.

Dumitrescu said that CWU’s College of Business worked in listening sessions with organizations in the agribusiness industry to identify needs that these certificates would help teach students and professionals apply to the workforce once completed. Some of the organizations included Double Hop R Ranches, Haas, Stemilt Growers LLC, Treveri Cellars, Yakima Valley Hops and Zirkle Fruit Company.

According to Dumitrescu, some of the needs identified during the listening sessions were human resource management skills, marketing and management skills, new technologies, forecasting and planning and data management and analytics.

Dumitrescu said she hopes that with informational materials and promotional materials, they will be able to get students interested in the opportunities that these certificates offer. Dumitrescu also said she hopes that certificates like these will help society face its current challenges.

“With the challenges we face, climate change, food scarcity, global population increasing significantly,” Dumitrescu said. “We need more people to make sure that our food will still be on the table.”