01/13/05 — MOC to host Agribusiness conference

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MOC to host Agribusiness conference

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 13, 2005 1:58 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- On Jan. 30, Mount Olive College will kick-off a four-day Agribusiness Professional Development Conference directed at young farmers and cooperative extension agents.

The conference, sponsored by Altria-Shared Solutions, will cover the economics of farming, environmental aspects of farming and social enhancement of the farm community with knowledge of business skills in an ever-changing economic environment.

A group of 25 participants have been selected to participate in the conference, which will introduce young farm families to the personal and business management tools required to succeed in agribusiness and provide them with resources to become future and successful leaders in rural North Carolina.

Dr. Bill Collins, coordinator of Tobacco Programs at North Carolina State University, will discuss the "Future of Tobacco and Agricultural Leadership in Eastern North Carolina" at the kick-off event on Sunday, Jan. 30. The event, which is open to the public, will begin with a pig picking at 6 p.m. in the Lois K. Murphy Regional Center on the campus of Mount Olive College. To make reservations for the event, people should contact Barbara Grady at 658-2502 Ext. 1221.

Dr. Don Scott, director of the Agribusiness Center at Mount Olive College, said the center is grateful to Altria-Shared Solutions for its support of the conference in Eastern North Carolina and to Dr. Bill Collins for providing the keynote address.

"Participants of the conference will hopefully gain the personal and business tools they need to succeed in their agribusiness, as they become future leaders in a dynamic rural North Carolina," said Scott. He said he hopes the attendees will leave the conference with a better understanding of the business dynamics of their farm and family finances; the business, social and environmental dynamics of their farm and their stewardship within the state; and their position as an agribusiness person in a global food and fiber production arena.

He said the mission of the Agribusiness Center is aligned with the Altria-Shared Solutions program goals in that the college's instruction and leadership programs are designed to teach the principles of the Triple Bottom Line, which includes economic feasiblity, is environmentally responsible, and is it socially responsible. He said the conference program is designed to stimulate the young farm family to think "out of the box," give them the business skills to manage a successful triple bottom line agribusiness in the future and to understand that personal values and methods of learning are also important in building successful business and family relationships.

The Mount Olive College Agribusiness Center provides outreach to agricultural businesses in Eastern North Carolina by fostering synergism between agricultural businesses, environmental policy and Christian ethics. The Center provides educational opportunities, including technological assistance and understanding to all levels of agricultural businesses in Eastern North Carolina. In addition the Center supports undergraduate education in agribusiness management and in environmental science and policy. The Center also provides continuing educational resources focused on agribusiness management for all levels of the agribusiness industry and forums on important issues affecting the economic viability of agricultural businesses in Eastern North Carolina. The Center builds on the strengths in the adult education programs of the School of Business and the Department of Science and Mathematics at Mount Olive College.