Domestic Development & Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness (DDEA)

Similar to that of our IDEA program, DDEA allows students to serve as a consulting team for a partnering agribusiness organization.

Each project includes a domestic travel trip to an identified location to meet with industry representatives of interest in order to learn more about the project, relevant markets and final project outcomes.

Application now available! To apply please complete the application and submit to by December 6th at 11:59p.m. 
ECON 495 S18 Application.pdf

The domestic travel course, Econ 495, is being offered for the Spring 2018 semester.  Students in the course will be taking on an important class project that includes a unique spring break trip that combines unique networking opportunities along with plenty of fun activities. This spring's project will focus on CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), a new gene editing technology that could lead to significant progress in preventing and treating disease, increasing the productivity of crops and livestock, reducing pests, enhancing the environment, improving food nutrition, and many other possibilities. The objective of this project is to begin to introduce CRISPR to broader market and to solicit stories from selected CRISPR stakeholders that begin to get at the possibilities and concerns for the technology.  Through this project it is hoped that light will be shed on the CRSIPR technology and its potential impacts and that a precedence for transparency will be established around the technology.  The approach for the project will be to engage in a dialog with a range of stakeholders and to report on a journey of discovery in learning about this promising technology.   Ultimately through this project, the class will try to identify the key factors for determining CRISPR market acceptance.    

Key tasks for the class will be to:

Develop an understanding of the CRISPR technology and how it works
Identify four to five topic areas that will be of interest to potential consumers of CRISPR products
Identify key CRISPR technology and CRISPR product stakeholders including CRISPR technology researchers, product developers, food companies, human health companies, selected consumers, non-governmental organizations, industry organizations, and regulatory entities
Develop a plan for soliciting information and input from stakeholders in order to better understanding the four to five CRISPR topic areas
Conduct interviews with selected CRISPR stakeholders
Compile, summarize, and interpret information gathered in the interviews
Communicate findings of the four or five topic areas via professional quality videos that strive to tell compelling stories
Upload the videos on-line

Key deliverables for the project will include:

Written story boards for each of the four or five topic areas
A video (15-20 minutes) for each of the four to five topic areas

Class trip:
The proposed class trip will involve visiting key stakeholders in the Bay area and other locations in northern California.  Key companies and organizations visited will be CRISPR technology developers at the University of California – Berkley, CRISPR start-up companies in the San Francisco Bay area, venture capital firms investing in CRISPR, and selected other companies and organizations.  At least one day will be spent in the Central Valley meeting with growers.  Included in the trip will be visits to some of the interesting tourist locations including, for example, Fisherman’s Warf, Alcatraz, Sonoma County, and other points of interest.  

Students interested in participating in this unique opportunity will need to submit their applications to Amanda Blair at the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI).  The application process will begin following Thanksgiving break.  For more information, contact Amanda Blair ( or Dave Krog ( in the AgEI office.