This story first appeared in the March 2018 edition of The Hilltop.
Business professor Griff Lindell makes an appearance in a suit. But students will be graduating with “mud on their boots” due to a new agricultural concentration being implemented at Corban for the year of 2018.
The global demand for food is rising, and this need will be more prevalent in the coming years. The agribusiness program has a solution.
“We have statistics that tell us by 2020, 57,000 jobs will be needed in agricultural business or management, but only 34,000 [graduates] will have an agricultural degree,” Lindell said.
With the world population estimated to quadruple over the next century, agricultural business major students will have the opportunity to meet the new desperate need, Lindell said.
Sitting in an abundance of rich soil, Corban is the perfect place for such a program to take place, teaching students to be good stewards in the land God created.
Lindell is excited for the program.
“We are in the Willamate Valley — this is God’s right place and time, and we are situated to meet a need,” he said.
The new degree concentration is practical. Lindell hopes the program will help students develop skills to cultivate land and produce food for the masses.
The new Hoff School of Business concentration will be available in the fall of 2018. Corban will be the only Christian university to offer such a program on the West Coast, hopefully making it a draw for prospective students.
The program requires students to gain six hours of internship credit along with in-class courses concentrated on science and business.
Lindell said students will take courses like advanced economics and marketing sales, as well as engage in internships in industries, such as ranch, forestry and farm management. These internships can be divided between management and production of agriculture in hopes of showing students both sides of the industry.
“We want students to have hands-on experience,” Lindell said.
Fifteen new freshmen are needed for the program to begin. Lindell wants current students to get in touch with their high school peers who are actively involved with FFA, FBLA and those who enjoy the business aspect of agricultural development.
While the search for the program chair continues, it is clear the position will be different than other department chairs. The duty of the program chair will include teaching students, as well as connecting with FFA and high school agricultural teachers.
Corban students who are interested in earning the concentration should talk to Lindell.
According to Lindell, the agribusiness program has been in the works for a while. Because agricultural business is an industry requiring large amounts of financial resources, university leadership wanted to make agricultural business a concentration and build it from there once funds are raised.
There will be three steps to the program — one of which has already been started. The first is to implement the program as a concentration within the business major along with the four concentrations already offered — accounting, leadership and management, marketing and sports recreation management.
The second step includes making agricultural business a sole major rather than a concentration, and the final step is implementing agribusiness as a new college of agricultural studies within Corban.