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Deakin’s Agribusiness major hits the mark

With a love of farming in his bones, Joel Haynes seized the opportunity to undertake an Agribusiness major as part of his Deakin commerce degree.

When second-year student Joel discovered he could major in Agribusiness the decision was a no-brainer.

“I found out about the major when it was announced at Deakin Geelong Waterfront campus last year. I could hardly sit still I was that excited about it.

“I’m very happy to be doing Commerce at Deakin – it is what I’d always wanted because it’s a world-class university and means not having to move away from home (I grew up in Geelong). But I thought I would have to do a Finance major.”

“Once I heard about the Agribusiness major starting in 2019 there was no way I wasn’t going to do it – the decision was instant,” Joel says.

Although Joel could undertake his Agribusiness units online (through Deakin Cloud campus) he opted to do them at Deakin’s Warrnambool campus. And he is loving every minute.

Joel says the syllabus is very practical and grounded in the real world, with multiple excursions to a range of farming sites.

“It strikes the right balance between local, national and global economic perspectives. I am learning so much about supply and demand, world prices, tariffs, and commodities, and how one thing affects another,” Joel says.

“For example, the drought in NSW is resulting in a feed shortage, which means prices are quite high in Victoria. Something happening hundreds of kilometres away is having an impact. And the same goes with things like the trade war, climate change. So many things can make a difference and pose a threat.”

Joel’s love of farming fomented during regular visits to his uncle’s farm as a child. The saying “Find something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” has stuck with Joel and guides his vocational footsteps.

“There are many opportunities out there, agribusiness roles with advisory firms or banks, working directly with livestock, or managing my own farm.

“Ultimately I would love to be managing my own farm but I will enjoy anything that keeps me connected to agriculture business.”

On the advice of his cousin, he is already gaining relevant experience as a shed hand.

“In agribusiness there is no such thing as getting straight into it (my cousin tells me). You have to know the processes and understand how business runs, and you can only get that through direct experience.”

Global food studies expert and senior lecturer in Agribusiness, Dr Risti Permani, says many school leavers and commerce students may be unaware of the relevance and importance of agriculture to key issues facing Australia and the world, including climate change and supply chain challenges.

“Agribusiness is not just about farm management – it is about the collective business activities through the food, fibre and agricultural supply chains.”

Units includes in the Agribusiness major include Agribusiness Governance, Agribusiness Technology, and Global Challenges: Food, Water and Climate.

Find out more about Deakin Business School’s Major in Food and Agribusiness.

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