This portion of AGEDS 450 is designed for students to work in their committees to examine and research in detail a strategic issue facing the Ag 450 farm in either the short-run or long-run. Strategic issues focus on problems that deal with all phases of the farm — crops, swine, equipment, land, labor, and other activities/resources. They are designed to be “interdisciplinary” problems where students can draw upon previous agricultural courses and apply “problem-solving” and “decision-making” techniques to an interdisciplinary problem.
Strategic issues have been identified for this semester. Each issue is quite comprehensive and will require each team to spend some time seeking information and doing some research outside of class to adequately solve the problem being worked on.
Members of the strategic issue teams will need to work together. The strategic issues have several parts so that each team member will have an opportunity to contribute taking one of the specific questions related to the broader issue.
The strategic issues are presented as a somewhat general statement. Each committee will need to develop a strategy to identify all pertinent components of the issue and include those in the report.
Issue teams will have a majority of the semester to complete their work. Written and oral reports will be given by each team. The reports need to be long enough to adequately discuss the issue and specific questions as well as recommendations made by the issue team (minimum of 5 pages). The written report should include a bibliography of references obtained and individuals contacted for information (Works Cited).
Class time will be made available during the semester to work on strategic issues. It is anticipated that lab time and some lecture time will be available for students to work on strategic issues.
The major topics for strategic issues for this semester are:
- Building and Grounds
- Powering the farm with solar panels
- Electrical update
- Limited network dependency
- Nutrient planning
- 3-5 year plan
- Manure management including potential finisher
- Fertilizer, etc.
- Customs & Swine
- Increasing finishing capacity of hogs
- New building concept
- Feeding contract
- Manure management
- Finance & Marketing
- Financial forecasting
- 3-5 year budget
- Potential projects
- Opportunities and threats
- Machinery upgrade
- Corn head
- New planter (technology advancement)
- Public Relations
- New classroom and shop
- Address AgEdS 450 needs exclusively
- Possible layouts and costs
- Financing options and recommendations