NDSU Announces Partnership with AgCountry to establish the AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness

Fargo, N.D. — The North Dakota State University Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, in conjunction with AgCountry Farm Credit Services (AgCountry) and the North Dakota State University Foundation, is proud to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative, the AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness. This visionary position seeks to enhance the University’s commitment to addressing critical issues within the agricultural sector and further solidify NDSU’s position as a leader in agricultural education and research.

“We are so grateful for AgCountry’s longtime commitment and investment in NDSU, and this impactful endowment to advance agricultural finance education and research,” NDSU President Dave Cook said. “It does not just affect the University, but our students, our faculty and staff, as well as the members of this community, our alumni, and all that look to AgCountry for resources and advocacy. We are so excited for the future and the partnership we continue to enjoy!”

The AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness is set to become a pillar of the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. Designed to tackle key challenges in agribusiness finance and risk analysis, this program will be housed within the NDSU Center for Trading and Risk and will leverage the state-of-the-art Commodity Trading Room. The endowment, invested and managed by the NDSU Foundation, will not only bolster existing resources in the field of agribusiness but will also provide invaluable training opportunities for students and stakeholders alike.

“We are helping to create a strong future for our producers by providing students at NDSU with an expanded offering in agribusiness discipline, methodologies, and design,” Marc Knisely, president and CEO of AgCountry, said. “Through this endowment, AgCountry demonstrates the on-going fulfillment of our mission and reinforcing our service commitment to current and future generations of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.”

The primary objective of the AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness is to establish a nationally recognized program within the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics dedicated to addressing critical educational and research needs in agribusiness, with a particular emphasis on finance and risk analysis applications that hold paramount importance in the agricultural industry.

“Agribusiness finance is the cornerstone of sustainable growth in the evolving agricultural landscape,” Greg Lardy, NDSU’s vice president for Agricultural Affairs, said. “With a focus on forward-looking financial modeling, risk management, and the spatial dynamics of competition, an endowed chair in agribusiness finance at NDSU promises to empower a new generation of experts. These graduates will not only drive the success and sustainability of agribusiness ventures but also catalyze economic growth across the region. From higher producer incomes to thriving local communities, the ripple effect of their expertise will be felt far and wide. In an era of rapid agribusiness evolution and sophistication, this investment in education and research is the key to securing North Dakota’s prominence in the ag technology space, bringing recognition, innovation, and sustainable economic growth to the heartland.”

Issues related to risk management in production agriculture and agribusiness are among the most pressing challenges facing the agricultural sector today. These challenges span various levels, including farm operations, agricultural banking, agribusiness enterprises, and agricultural technology sectors. AgCountry’s investment will provide essential funding for a targeted teaching and research program in agribusiness finance.

“The mission at AgCountry Farm Credit Services is to serve agriculture and rural America,” Greg Sabolik, AgCountry Board chair, said. “One way we support agriculture is in collaboration with NDSU and their College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. An endowment for an Agribusiness Chair provides foundational curriculum and programming for the study of agribusiness, management, and finance to accelerate the growth and development of new and existing agribusinesses.”

The establishment of the AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness builds on AgCountry’s long-standing commitment and partnership with NDSU. In addition to this new initiative, AgCountry has supported the NDSU Richard H. Barry Hall building project, the Center for Trading and Risk, Peltier Complex, and Harvest Bowl. Further, 2023 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Farm Credit Fellows Program at NDSU – a special undergraduate program in agricultural finance to enhance students’ understanding of the agricultural credit system.

This program will not only address critical gaps in agribusiness education but will also expand NDSU’s research and teaching efforts into vital areas such as agribusiness management, project financial analysis in value-added agriculture, agricultural technology finance and risk analysis, financial management of agribusiness firms, as well as provide students with practical knowledge and skills to navigate the complex landscape of agribusiness.

This endowed program promises to be a game-changer in agribusiness management, finance and risk analysis education and research, contributing significantly to the growth and sustainability of the agricultural sector.

The search for the new AgCountry Endowed Chair of Agribusiness is currently underway with an anticipated start date of August 2024. For more information about the position, please visit https://www.ndsu.edu/employment/


The NDSU Foundation builds enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.


Headquartered in Fargo, N.D., AgCountry Farm Credit Services (AgCountry) has managed assets in excess of $12 billion and over 700 employees. AgCountry is a member-owned, locally-governed lending institution that provides credit and financial services to more than 25,000 farmers and ranchers in portions of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Providing agribusiness loans and leases nationwide, AgCountry is a part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of cooperative financial services institutions that serve agriculture and rural America.