Second annual agribusiness case competition draws a dozen teams

Word has spread about the Cor Van Raay Agribusiness Case Competition co-hosted by Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. This year, 54 post-secondary students registered to participate in the two-day event Friday and Saturday.

Now in its second year, the 12 teams taking part include one each from Medicine Hat College, Lakeland College and the University of Saskatchewan. The remaining nine teams are from Lethbridge and are comprised of both U of L students studying management and agricultural economics and Lethbridge College students studying business administration and agriculture.

“This case competition provides students with an opportunity to analyze issues facing the primary industry in southern Alberta and provide solutions to a panel of judges,” says Dr. Bob Boudreau, dean of the Faculty of Management at the U of L. “It also allows them to network with and learn from industry professionals.”

“This competition is a great experience for students to work with peers from not only different disciplines, but from different institutions as well, in a fast-paced learning environment,” says Dennis Sheppard, dean of the Centre for Applied Management at Lethbridge College. “The competition affords students a taste of their future careers in an ever-growing world where the business of agriculture is critical.”

The case competition grew out of a $5-million donation by local agricultural entrepreneur Dr. Cor Van Raay (LLD ’15). The competition is designed to give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge in agriculture and business on a global scale.

“We strive to educate students on agribusiness and its potential career paths. Agribusiness presents diverse career possibilities, regardless of whether someone has grown up on a farm or not,” says Boudreau.

The competition gets underway Friday evening with a networking event and talk by keynote speaker Dennis McKnight.  McKnight, founder of The Innovators, has decades of experience in market research and analyzing data. On Saturday morning, the case competition gets underway in the Markin Hall Atrium at the U of L. Students will be given an agribusiness case from which they’ll analyze the relevant issues and come up with a strategy that they’ll present to a panel of three judges. The competition wraps up with a mixer, dinner and awards presentation at the Garden Court restaurant at Lethbridge College.