La Trobe offers new Agribusiness degree

La Trobe University is launching a new degree to help boost regional economies and meet a growing demand for agribusiness professionals.

The Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) will be taught at all Regional Victorian La Trobe University campuses including Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga and Mildura from Semester 1, 2017.

La Trobe’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional) Richard Speed said the degree was a great opportunity for students to gain skills in agricultural production as well as establish strong business principles.

“La Trobe has a strong tradition of preparing students for careers in regional Victoria. Now we are expanding our course offering into the vital business of growing our agriculture sector,” he said.

“Our students will develop a solid understanding of business, economic and financial concepts, while also gaining an introduction to agricultural sciences such as water management,” Professor Speed said.

“We are confident this Agribusiness degree will help to boost the regional economy and encourage students to live and learn in country areas.

“Both students and businesses will benefit from graduates studying close to home with locally-delivered education which is critical in building local skills and capacity.

“When they graduate our students will be in demand and ready, willing and able to address the real issues facing agriculture business within a changing local international environment.”

Professor Speed said a unique feature of the course was three intensive place-based subjects, held at la Trobe’s regional campuses. Students from across the state will come together to focus on the particular skills and challenges of the local agricultural sector and talk with professionals from a range of disciplines and sectors, such as horticulture in Mildura or diary in Shepparton.

Students can also complete an industry-based work placement with a regional agribusiness organisation - also known as a Work Integrated Learning subject - which will provide credits towards their degree.

The Agricultural sector is one of Victoria’s biggest export earners and has been identified as one of the most promising sectors for Australia’s regional economy. There is strong demand for industry professionals who have skills in areas such as agribusiness and rural banking, export business and government agencies.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor John Dewar said demand for skilled graduates in the agriculture sector was being driven directly by regional communities.

“The local communities tell us that there is a burning need for students with these qualifications,” Professor Dewar said.

“The employers say they’re screaming for bright young kids to come into this industry.”

Media Contact: Dylan May