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! Click HERE to apply!

The domestic travel course, Econ 495, is being offered for the Spring 2017 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.  The class project is being sponsored by Syngenta.  The project involves evaluating grower data collection approaches used for agricultural sustainability initiatives across the food value chain.  The objective of the project is to develop recommendations for a more efficient sustainability data collection process to be used by food companies and other stakeholders in the value chain.  During the course of the project, students will collaborate with Syngenta as well as many of the largest companies in the food industry along with several industry organizations.   

Key tasks for the class project will include:

  • Identify and describe the significant sustainability and related compliance schemes in place for U.S. row crop production
  • Identify key value chain stakeholders (including Syngenta) connected to these schemes
  • Develop a set of questionnaires that will be used to interview key value chain stakeholders
  • Conduct interviews with selected stakeholders (25 to 30 companies)
  • Conduct interviews with  8 to 10 industry groups including commodity organizations who will act as surrogates for growers
  • Compile, summarize, and interpret grower data requirements of the selected stakeholders
  • Develop recommendations for a standard set of reference data and terminology to be used in data collection
  • Develop recommendations for a more efficient and effective grower data collection process including recommendations for Syngenta’s Land.db data system
  • Report the project finding and recommendations to Syngenta

The spring break trip will take students to the offices of many of the food industries largest companies.  Company visits are being planned for Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.  Students will learn first-hand about the sustainability efforts of these leading agriculture and food companies.  Students will have the opportunity to build an impressive network of agriculture and food industry contacts.  The trip will include a number of fun activities including athletic events, historical visits, and interesting dining experiences. 

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.