Dianne and M. Edward Rister ’74 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
Our Dianne and M. Edward Rister ’74 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program uniquely equips and positions rural, metropolitan and urban entrepreneurs at Texas A&M University to dare to soar. This academic program challenges students to move their entrepreneurial ideas forward through the development of successful business plans and models. Designed to provide real-world analyses, students gain a comprehensive background as an entrepreneur and business leader.
Turning dreams into a reality
Our goal is to prepare students with the analytical and communication skills needed to accurately assess and discuss the feasibility of a business. Each student evaluates a business enterprise of their own choosing, intensifying their interest and understanding of the process of preparing a comprehensive evaluation of an idea. In a two-semester capstone experience, students develop actual business plans and conduct economic and financial analyses. To participate in the program, students may enroll in one of the following:
- B.S. in Agricultural Economics – Rural Entrepreneurship option
- Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Minor (AGBE)
- University Entrepreneurship Minor (ENTR)
- Related coursework
Mentorship and professional pitching experiences
The value of the program is amplified by interactions students have with numerous successful entrepreneurs and other business leaders and professionals through various flagship events each semester. Each spring, mentors visit College Station for the Kathi & Murray Edwards ’73 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Mentoring Forum. Students in the AGEC 425 course pitch and receive feedback on their business from successful mentors.
Later in the semester, students have the opportunity to put their skills to the test and compete in the Texas Farm Credit Entrepreneurial Dreams Symposium. In this competition, students present their business venture projects to more than 100 entrepreneurs and business professionals. We award top competitors and give out over $30,000 in scholarships, thanks to the support of our sponsors and donors.
We have strong relationships with some of the most successful innovators, entrepreneurs, business men and women in the world. Our professional network is comprised of former students, donors and friends of the program and extends across Texas and beyond. We are fortunate to have some of those inspiring minds come visit Aggieland and serve as professors for a day, sharing with students some of the lessons they’ve learned through success and failure, as they’ve built their own enterprises.
Igniting the entrepreneurial spirit
Students who complete the program are armed with business, economics, communication and leadership skills, enabling them to have a huge impact on their communities. Learn about the history of the program and meet some of the former students who dared to soar and did just that.
Interested in learning more?
If you’re interested in the Rister ’74 Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, we encourage you to reach out to our leadership team.