Improving Agriculture Students’ Understanding Of Global Production Systems Through Distance Learning
Globalization is a fundamental force currently shaping agricultural sector throughout the world. To make sound decisions in a globalised economy, agricultural producers and agribusiness managers must have a high level of understanding of the international dimensions of their industry. To address this need, we are developing a course aimed at helping agricultural students better understand the managerial environment faced by producers worldwide. This course will provide students an opportunity to learn about agricultural production, and the context in which it occurs, by analyzing real-world farm case studies in various countries on four continents in both hemispheres of the globe.
Eight case studies are being developed to exemplify the production and managerial environment in five different countries (Russia, Australia, Uruguay, Brazil, and the U.S.). Each case study will include a written description of the case, as well as a video tour of the farm and surrounding region and an interview with the farm manager. The case studies will provide the principal building blocks for the comparative farm management systems course to be taught at each of the four cooperating universities. Through the comparative farm management systems course, students will: (1) obtain a better understanding of the production agriculture sectors of the world, (2) discuss regional agricultural economic issues with instructors who are experts from each country, and (3) gain real-world problems solving experience in international settings through case study analysis. The case studies and course curriculum will be made available to other universities through a project web page and distribution of case study CD-ROMs.
Keywords: globalization, international, comparative farm case studies, distance learning.