SUNY Cobleskill’s relationship with Farm Credit – specifically Farm Credit East – is fortifying, thanks to a philanthropic gift and the College’s continued role as a leader of agribusiness education. Farm Credit East recently contributed $500 to SUNY Cobleskill’s Alpha Gamma Rho colony, which launched at SUNY Cobleskill at the start of the academic year. The ability of the colony to establish relationships with industry providers and employers is an important step in the process of becoming a full-fledged AGR chapter.
The link between SUNY Cobleskill and Farm Credit East is also extending into academic study. For the Spring 2019 semester, the College is introducing a new Agricultural Business course, “AGBU 499 – Farm Credit Fellows.” Upper-level students are able to enroll in the course and earn internship credit. Farm Credit East says SUNY Cobleskill becomes only the sixth college to offer a Farm Credit Fellows course. Excitement is palpable on both sides.
“The Fellows program is a great way for students to get an inside look at how Farm Credit operates and develop a greater understanding of credit analysis and financial management,” says Roger Murray, Farm Credit East executive vice president. “These skills will help prepare students whether they’re planning to work in production agriculture or agribusiness, such as a career at Farm Credit. Farm Credit is excited that [SUNY] Cobleskill [is] part of the Farm Credit Fellows program.”
SUNY Cobleskill’s curriculum for the fellowship course includes in-depth instruction on the principles and practices used to provide financial services to agricultural businesses. Farm Credit East guest speakers, case studies, and a final presentation before Farm Credit East management at the agency’s headquarters in Enfield, CT are additional components.
Assistant Professor Stephen Weir is serving as the fellowship course’s first instructor. He notes Farm Credit recently made a generous contribution to SUNY Cobleskill’s Ag Business Club, and says both the Alpha Gamma Rho relationship and fellowship program will greatly enhance the Farm Credit relationship.
Agricultural Business & Culinary Arts Department Chair Dr. Jason Evans echoes Weir. “Farm Credit East is the premier internship and employer for our Agricultural Business Management programs,” says Dr. Evans.