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Arkansas State University

Global Competition in Agricultural Business

Agriculture is one of the world’s most important industries. Without it, human civilization would quickly destabilize and potentially collapse. That said, feeding an exponentially growing human population is no easy feat.

The world population currently sits at 7.98 billion and shows little sign of slowing. To adequately feed this population, humans have resorted to intense globalization to keep food flowing around the globe. While this is good for feeding our population, it also means that agribusiness leaders will need to compete not just locally, regionally and nationally, but globally. Arkansas State University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Agricultural Business program prepares students to recognize and adapt to agribusiness trends and succeed in the industry.

Opportunity Is Coming

The most logical reason for getting into the agricultural business is that it is vital and thriving. There will always be a massive need for efficient food production. Subsequently, skilled agribusiness employees and leaders will always be in high demand. However, recent legislation by the Biden administration makes this an excellent time to pursue a career in agribusiness.

In July 2021, Joe Biden signed an executive order geared to bring more competition to agriculture. Through this executive order, he directed the Department of Agriculture to police U.S. markets. He also claimed that consolidation in agribusiness “is making it too hard for small family farms to survive.” Additionally, through the American Rescue Plan, the Biden administration pledged $1 billion to expand independent processing capacity in the U.S. In other words, change is likely coming to the U.S. agricultural business, which has been slowly consolidating for quite some time.

With that said, these initiatives will likely take years to materialize. As it stands now, competition in the agricultural sector remains stiff, especially on a global scale.

Global Agribusiness Trends

Industry professionals should be aware of the general constraints of the industry. Mainly, farmers need to feed an ever-growing population with a limited supply of land and resources. As global competition increases, this issue will only become more pronounced.

In addition, three significant trends are making the industry even more competitive, as highlighted in a global sustainability study:

  • Global warming disrupts traditional weather patterns, leading to disasters like fires, droughts

and floods. This is perhaps the most difficult trend to prepare for due to the unpredictability of climate change.

  • The changing lifestyle choices of consumers include the popularity of diets like vegetarianism

and veganism, which are becoming exceedingly common in developed countries. On top of that, consumers are showing a tremendous preference for food that has been locally sourced and produced using sustainable methods free of animal cruelty.

  • Finally, major food producers are facing feedback for their industry’s negative impact on the

environment. To maximize output while minimizing costs, farmers often use methods that harm surrounding areas. These methods include the widespread use of plastic/pesticides, extensive water allocation for crops and livestock and processes that contribute approximately 30% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

Students seeking a career in agribusiness will need to be prepared to face these issues head-on

Preparing Yourself

In the agricultural industry, there are four main resources businesses can use to create a sustainable advantage over their competitors. These resources will help to distinguish you from global competitors:

  • Physical resources: technology, equipment, raw materials, geographic resources and logistics


  • Financial resources: cash or cash equivalents
  • Organizational resources: structures, systems and relationships with outside stakeholders
  • Human resources: experience, internal relationships, training and workforce

With that in mind, one of the best ways to immediately contribute to your firm is to fully prepare for your role. This preparation includes becoming well-versed in standard industry topics like the development of new foods and how to source raw food products from around the world.

On top of that, students who want to excel should understand specific concepts and processes to help their organizations gain a competitive advantage in the industry. As these strategies are constantly changing, pursuing an advanced degree ensures you are up-to-date on the best practices in the industry.

In particular, Arkansas State University’s online MBA – Agricultural Business program offers a course for Strategic Marketing on industry-specific knowledge, such as the importance of providing customer satisfaction, developing new products and recognizing current challenges from global competition.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online MBA program with a concentration in Agricultural Business.

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