Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Food & Agribusiness Blog for news, events, announcements, and more.

  •  Students Place 1st in International Case Competition

    A team of four FAI concentration MBA students placed first at the 2009 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association World Forum and Symposium held in Budapest, Hungary in June. The students tied for first place with University of Guelph (Canada), beating out other teams from the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Hungary in multiple rounds.

    Team members Irene Cermeno MBA ‘11, Michael Enos MBA ‘11, Andrew C.S. Tseng MBA ‘09, and Danielle Wenzel MBA ‘11 were sponsored by the business school’s Food & Agribusiness Institute, and coached by Operations & Management Information Systems Professor Drew Starbird.

    The students were judged on their ability to solve a management problem posed in a business case study, as well as the quality of a short oral presentation to the judges, a written executive summary, and their originality and creativity.

    "Our graduate students prepare to work in a global business community,” said Starbird, who becomes acting dean of the business school July 1. “The success of our Santa Clara team shows our strength as a truly internationally focused graduate business program.”

    In the first round, the Santa Clara team competed with students from Purdue University, Texas A&M, Curtin University (Australia), and others, to analyze a case involving a family-owned Hungarian producer and distributor of bottled soda water. Just four teams moved on to the final round, in which teams analyzed a case involving a Dutch venture that employed people with disabilities in an open space farming operation.

    “Because the cases involved real world events with real people and their businesses, it made the experience even more gratifying,” said Enos, who is also the chief technology officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. “I was humbled when the family from the Hungarian company approached us afterward and thanked us for our input into their issues,” he said. “I learned a great deal about how to apply the information in the MBA program to the real world.”

    MBA students win case competition
  •  Gregory Baker Named IAMA Fellow

    Gregory Baker, Director of the Food & Agribusiness Institute, has been named as a Fellow for the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), the highest honor the organization bestows.  

    Dr. Baker has been a member of IAMA since it’s founding in 1991 and has been a board member since 1999.  He is the former Editor of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.  Dr. Baker co-founded the student Case Competition and has chaired that competition for several years.  He currently serves on the Publication Policy Committee and has served on the Program Committee for several years.

    From the IAMA award letter, “Since its founding, IAMA has been successful due to the vision, hard work and creative efforts of a few key individuals. These individuals have distinguished themselves as leaders in the food and agribusiness industry as well as in service to IAMA. This is the highest award given by IAMA and is awarded only to members who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the success of the organization, and are demonstrated leaders in the food and agribusiness industry.”

  •  FAI Facilitated Immersion in Africa

    From June 23rd through July 2nd, Dr. Gregory Baker, director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, led Santa Clara University's first immersion experience in Africa.  He and visiting professor Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu from Kansas State University traveled with twelve SCU business undergraduate students to Ghana where the highlights of their trip included visiting an AIDS hospice, a cacao research institute, a microfinance company, a habitat village, a monkey sanctuary, a slave castle, and a school.  The group also stayed with families for part of their trip.
    View photo highlights of the trip.

    Reflecting on their experience, some of the students wrote:

    "Going on this immersion trip to Ghana was easily one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It expanded my horizons, pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to reexamine how I view the world."

    "Immersion trips are the first step to realizing a universal truth, the truth that despite all of our differences, we are all intertwined. We are all related, bound up together by the common thread of our humanity."

    "This immersion trip has encompassed everything I have received through my experience at Santa Clara, building a stronger understanding of business inside and outside the classroom while integrating my knowledge and passion for my major on a global scale."

    "I learned so much, met incredible people, and saw a world completely unlike my own.  It was simply unforgettable."

    The students will be raising funds this year to build two houses in the habitat village where they stayed with families. The students have already raised 75 percent of the amount needed. They only have $1500 remaining to raise and are currently planning a benefit concert, among other things, to accomplish their funding goal.

    This immersion was tied to a course taught by Dr. Baker, BUSN 196 Business, Economic Development and Social Change in Ghana.

    Future immersions sponsored through FAI will be tied to the new FAI facilitated pathway, Food, Hunger, Poverty, and Environment. More information about the FHPE Pathway.

Food & Agribusiness Institute
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