NC Ag Comes Together for New Venture

An initiative of the CALS Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) and the Poole College of Management (PCOM) at NC State, the Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program serves as a concentration for agribusiness management students and a minor for students in other majors who are interested in entrepreneurship as applied to agriculture. Based on a hands-on learning process involving entrepreneurs, start-ups, and trans-disciplinary teams in a clinical setting, students learn how to look at new ideas and figure out the steps necessary to commercialize them. They also interact with local businesses and help them succeed.

The Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program is led by an advisory council that includes members of the agricultural and entrepreneurial community. The members are: Fulton Breen  (XSinc); John Dombrosky (Agtech Accelerator); Chason & David Johnson  (Johnson Nurseries); Carroll Joyner  (Philanthropist); Lewis Sheats  (PCOM NCSU); and Reggie Strickland (Strickland Farming Group).

Students are taught by ARE Professor Kelly Zering, PCOM Professor Lewis Sheats, and Duke Professor Gregory Hopper.

The first fundraiser was held on March 26th in Research Triangle Park and the second on April 4th at Strickland Farming Group in Mount Olive, North Carolina. Invitees included a broad array of members of the ag/bio/food industries.  Biotech CEOs, agribusiness leaders, lenders, and entrepreneurs attended the events to learn more about the current successes of the program and its vision for the future. From the generosity of donors from these numerous offshoots of the North Carolina agricultural sector the program will be able to continue for several more years. For more information, students should reach out to John Russ by email at or by phone at (919) 515-4677. Business owners interested in partnering with the program should contact John Beghin at jcbeghin@ncsu or 919-515-6091.



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