FAIRMONT - Presentation College has been given approval to offer a rather unusual minor for a small Catholic campus: Agricultural business management.
The minor is unique for Division III institutions in the area and, when combined with a business major, is designed to prepare students for work in ag business management.
The minor will be offered at both the Fairmont and Aberdeen, S.D., campuses.
The offering comes at the same time Fairmont Area Schools is considering ways to incorporate agriculture education into its curriculum.
"We knew the community would want this," said Traci Lardy, director of the Fairmont campus. "That just shows what a strong ag community we are. It just fell into place."
The minor offers classes such as farm and ranch management, agricultural marketing and prices, and agricultural business internship.
"Many businesses offer excellent internships, and we're looking forward to providing students with exciting career opportunities in the agribusiness field," said Dr. James Johnson, vice president of academics with Presentation.
Lardy said the program will begin this fall, with classes initially being taught through ITV and online by instructors at the college's Aberdeen campus.
That doesn't mean the school isn't looking for in-room teachers, Lardy said.
"While there are only a few comparable programs available in the region, we believe this minor is as academically challenging as similar programs offered by these other institutions," said Larry Lovrien, chairman of the school's business department.
The agricultural business management minor is a third option for business students, who are required to take a minor. The other two are management and health services administration.