Agricultural Business Fundamentals

Two farmers in a greenhouse

Agricultural Business Fundamentals

Pathway Certificate

11 Credits | 1 Year part time

Ashland*, New Richmond*, Rice Lake*, Superior*

Outreach Center: Balsam Lake*

*Combination of Hybrid and On Site instruction

Career Cluster: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Understanding where you are financially is the first step in making plans for the future. This certificate is all about creating financial statements, understanding them and figuring out ways to mitigate risk, diversify income streams and find bottlenecks. 

Program Overview

The business side of the farm operation is often times the most critical part of any farm regardless of focus. In this pathway, students will learn what financial records to keep, how to market commodities, analyze financial benchmarks, along with assessing new technology.

Program Outcomes

The Agricultural Business Fundamentals Certificate will prepare you to:

  • Plan for operation and maintenance of farm facilities and equipment
  • Create farm business plans
  • Apply marketing principles to agricultural enterprises
A farmer using a drone over the field

As a student in this program, you will learn how to contribute to the farm in a profitable and sustainable manner. 

Two farmers in a field looking at a tablet

Practical, on-farm application.

Pricing of commodities

Flexible Scheduling.

Two farmers shaking hands for a business transaction

A sharing environment.


Agricultural Business Fundamentals courses are offered in a hybrid setting. This allows you to enjoy the freedom of taking classes through the internet live from anywhere.

  • Connect with your instructor and classmates during live classes via the web.
  • Evening course will be available for individuals needing to complete continuing education requirements for FSA loans.
  • Flexible schedules and delivery modes available to fit the busy lifestyle.

Career Pathways

This pathway certificate will ladder into the Farm Operation technical diploma.

Practical & Applicable Lessons

The lessons of this program are designed to be applied directly to the production agricultural operation. The intent of each lesson is to improve quality of life, strengthen farm profitability and streamline management. 

Experienced Instructor

The instructor has a background in production agriculture and has experiential knowledge to sort through university and industry recommendations with competency and awareness of day-to-day farm activities. 

Required Courses

Agricultural Business Fundamentals specifically covers: Farm Commodities, Emerging Trends in Agriculture, Farm Records and Analysis and Operating the Farm Business. 

Explore the Required Courses

Featured Agricultural Business Fundamental Courses

| 2 CR
This course is designed to introduce students to the purpose, operation, and use of futures and options in managing commodity price risks. The objectives of the course are to understand commodity marketing, futures contracts, options contracts, basis, hedging and speculating strategies as part of a successful commodity risk management program. Students will be introduced to fundamental and technical analysis techniques.
| 3 CR
In this course, students will learn about the technological advances in production agricultural, relevant policy changes in legislation, consumer trends and new niche ventures. The production technology section will focus on data analysis and management from multiple sources including: robotic milkers, activity monitors, rumination meters, precision feeding, precision planting and harvesting data, satellite imagery and soil sampling.
| 3 CR
This course emphasizes the practical use of a farm record system in managing the farm through farm and financial analysis. Includes the establishment of farm business goals, selection and use of farm credit, farm business arrangements, farm estate planning, and farm income taxes. Instruction is provided on the use of computers and/or computer records and financial analysis of the farm business and finance strategy to meet the learner's needs. Production and financial decisions will be made based on the learner's farm business analysis. All competencies will be assessed using the learner's farm or with simulations established by the instructor.

Agricultural Business Fundamentals is Part of a Career Pathway

As an Agricultural Business Fundamentals student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way! 

You could take this first and get a credential.

Advance your skills to earn a one-year technical diploma. 

Technical Diploma
27 Credits / 1 Year
Potential Careers
CSA Owner, Organic Farmer, Farm Owner, Farm Manager/Operator, Farm/Field Crop Manager, Livestock Farmer, Breeder, Farm Worker, Dairy Laborer, Dairy Herdsperson
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Earn a bachelor's degree through Northwood Tech's transfer opportunities. 

Admissions and Tuition

Northwood Tech has an easy admission process. Get started by completing the Online application form. 

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Tuition and Fees

Northwood Tech breaks down the cost of education, so you'll have a good idea of how much your education will cost. 

Learn More About Paying for College

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the costs that you may incur while attending Northwood Technical College.

Learn More About Cost of Attendance

Estimated Total Program Tuition 2024-25*

Agricultural Business Fundamentals

11 Credits | 1 Year, Part-time


*Tuition is an estimate and does not include any miscellaneous fees for various courses, tools, books, supplies or uniforms. Program book costs are in addition to tuition and fees and vary depending on course selection and where the books are purchased or rented. 

After the Northwood Tech Agricultural Business Fundamentals Program

Upon completion of the program, you will earn an Agricultural Business Fundamentals technical diploma. Continue your education at Northwood Tech in the Farm Operation technical diploma program.

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Transfer Center

Transfer your Northwood Tech credits to a four-year college to earn your bachelor's degree and beyond. 

View Transfer Center


Career Outlooks

Northwood Tech's graduates experience success. Learn more about the types of careers you can get after graduation.

View Career Options

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Choose a campus to view contact information, or for general assistance, please contact us.

Rice Lake Admissions Contact

Nicole Messicci

Admissions Advisor



Ashland Admissions Contact

Jennifer Bednarik

Admissions Advisor



New Richmond Admissions Contact

Sherry Rehnelt

Admissions Advisor



Superior Admissions Contact

Anna Kalin

Admissions Advisor



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