STB Online Course Descriptions

Strategic Management (2 cr. Hrs.) — Critical analysis of current practice and case studies in strategic management with an emphasis on integrative decision making. Strategy formulation and implementation will be investigated in the context of complex business environments.

Information Systems (2 cr. Hrs.) — Introduction to a broad variety of information systems (IS) topics, including current and emerging developments in information technology (IT), IT strategy in the context of corporate strategy, and IS planning and development of enterprise architectures. Cases, reading, and discussions highlight the techniques and tactics used by managers to cope with strategic issues within an increasingly technical and data-driven competitive environment.

Marketing and Logistics (3 cr. Hrs.) — Integration of the business functions concerned with the marketing and movement of goods along the supply chain with the primary goal of creating value for the ultimate customer. Coordination of marketing, production, and logistics activities within the firm and with outside suppliers and customers in the supply chain.

Organizational Behavior (2 cr. Hrs.) — Understanding human behavior in organizations, and the nature of organizations from a managerial perspective. Special emphasis on how individual differences, such as perceptions, personality, and motivation, influence individual and group behavior in organizations and on how behavior can be influenced by job design, leadership, groups, and the structure of organizations.

Accounting and Finance (3 cr. Hrs.) – Survey of fundamental topics in accounting and finance. Financial statement reporting and analysis for agriculture firms, corporate governance issues related to financial reporting, (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley). Basic tools and techniques used in financial management, including stock and bond valuation. How to assess and use capital budgeting methods to evaluate proposed firm investments.

International Seed Business Practices, Policies, & Regulation (3 Cr. Hrs.) – Cultural, financial, economic, political, legal/regulatory environments shaping an organization’s international business strategy. Topics include entry (and repatriation) of people, firms, goods, services, and capital. Special attention to the institutions of seed regulation and policy. Ethical issues facing managers operating in an international context.

Crop Improvement (3 Cr. Hrs) — Basic principles in the genetic improvement of crop plants. Methods of cultivar development in self-pollinated and cross-pollinated crop species.

Data Science for Agriculture Professionals (3 Cr. Hr.) — Quantitative methods for analyzing and interpreting agronomic information. Principles of experimental design, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression, correlation, and graphical representation of data. Use of SAS and Excel for organization, analyzing, and presenting data.

Seed and Variety, Testing and Technology (2 Cr. Hrs.) – The components of seed quality and how they are assessed in the laboratory, including traits derived from modern biotechnology. The impact of new technologies on seed quality testing. Variety maintenance procedures and breeder seed. Variety identification: phenotype and grow-out trials, isozyme testing, and DNA marker testing. Procedures for evaluating varieties. The variance tests appropriate for fixed effects analysis of variance. Statistical inference and stratification for yield trials. Use of strip plot testing.

Introduction to the Seed Industry (1 Cr. Hr.) This introductory course is a quick overview of the academic program and the seed industry. It describes how the STB program components relate to the seed industry scope; the role of the seed industry in global agriculture and society; public and private institutions involved in seed research, development, and regulation; quality management for seed products . Current issues including industry consolidation, ethical and economic issues related to biotechnology, and incorporation of digital technology in the seed business will be discussed by course instructors and guest lecturers from the seed industry.

Seed Conditioning and Storage (2 Cr. Hrs.) – The technical operations which may be carried out on a seed lot from harvest until it is ready for marketing and use. The opportunities for quality improvement and the risks of deterioration which are present during that time. Analysis of the costs of and benefits of operations. Evaluation of equipment based on benefits to the customer and producer. Interpretation of the role of the conditioning plant and store as a focal points within the overall operations of a seed company.

Seed Physiology (2 Cr. Hrs) — Brief introduction to plant physiology. Physiological aspects of seed development, maturation, longevity, dormancy and germination. Links between physiology and seed quality.

Seed Production (2 Cr. Hrs.) – Survey of crop production; including management of soil fertility, planting dates, populations, weed control, and insect control. Analysis of the principles of seed multiplication and the key practices which are used to ensure high quality in the products. Field inspection procedures and production aspects that differ from other crop production. Foundation seed production. Analysis of the typical organization of field production tasks. Survey of the differences in seed production strategies between crops and the impact of these differences on seed production.

Seed Pathology (2 Cr. Hrs) — Significance of biotic and abiotic diseases that affect the production and utilization of seeds, during each phase of the seed life cycle: growing, harvesting, conditioning, storing, and planting seed. Mechanisms of seed infection and seed-to-seedling transmission are considered for fungi, bacteria, viruses/viroids, and nematodes. Aspects of epidemiology, management, and host-pathogen relationships are discussed. Emphases include the role of seed health testing in the global seed industry for quality control and phytosanitary certification, as well as the use of seed treatments to manage seedborne and soilborne pathogens and pests.

Quality, Production, and Research Management (2 Cr. Hrs.) Advanced survey of the organization, staff capabilities and management characteristics typical in seed production and crop improvement in seed enterprises. Analysis of the use of quality information in the management of seed operations and sales. Process management applications for seed. Production planning for existing capacity. Analysis of the manager’s tasks in the annual cycle and how the tasks of these managers relate to the general categories of business management roles. Difference in management strategies used with different situations and groups of employees.

Special Topics in Seed Technology and Business (1-3 Cr. Hrs.) Guided instruction and self-study on special topics relevant to seed technology and business.

Creative Component (2-3 Cr. Hrs.) — A written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student’s area of specialization and approved by the student’s advisory committee.