The 21-month executive MBA program starts with one week of classes and orientation on the Ames campus. Classes then meet once every three weeks on Friday and Saturday in Central Iowa, with online interactions in between meetings to enhance the course. There are no summer classes.

Content is developed by industry executives, the Ivy College of Business, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Each course is designed so that students can immediately apply what they learn to their company.

EMBA Courses

Course description: This course addresses issues in providing economic information to external and internal stakeholders through accounting. We will investigate issues in accounting measurement such as conservatism, opportunism, relevance, reliability, timeliness, and their implications for decision-making. We will apply various accounting techniques (e.g. revenue recognition, inventory valuation, long-lived asset accounting) used to convey information through the creation of financial statements. Finally, we will investigate and apply benchmarking tools such as ratio and trend analysis in an effort to contextually interpret financial statement information.

Bio: Anne M. Clem, PhD, CPA is Senior Lecturer in Accounting and currently serves as the Director of the Master of Accounting Program and is the Elaine R. Everson Teaching Fellow. She received her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin and BBA in Accounting from Iowa State University. Anne has over 23 years of teaching experience in financial accounting at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.  She has taught financial accounting, financial statement analysis, intermediate financial accounting, advanced financial accounting, as well as governmental and non-profit accounting.  Anne has taught in the ISU Seed Technology and Business graduate program as well as in the Professional MBA Program.  Her teaching has received national recognition from the Princeton Review as she was named one of the Top 300 professors in the nation.  She has received numerous teaching awards including the Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching.  For nearly 20 years, Anne has also served as the Vice President and CFO for BLC Insurance, a small independent insurance company owned by her husband and herself.

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Course Description: The actions of top executives can have significant and lasting effects on individuals, communities, and the natural environment. The decisions they make take place in a complex and demanding context that requires good stewardship, legal compliance, and inspirational leadership. This course will provide tools for executives to weigh their social responsibilities, enact their ethical priorities, and create organizations that motivate and reward proper conduct.

Bio: Scott Johnson is an Associate Professor and Dean’s Professor of Management. His research focuses on corporate boards, top managers, decision-making, and the philosophy of science. He is particularly interested in improving how governance research can better understand the complexity of real organizations. He has published in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management and Journal of Management Studies. He earned his PhD at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to Iowa State, he taught at Oklahoma State University for thirteen years where he taught MBA Strategy and Nonprofit Management courses and also worked with MBA students on multiple international consulting projects.

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Course description: the course will cover the following topics: Introduction to futures options and swaps. Positon diagrams. Determinants of the forward curve. The use of derivatives to reduce risk in agriculture. Using Monte Carlo techniques to find the fair value of options and crop insurance products. Systemic and non-systemic risk.  Financial engineering techniques to help visualize risk and the impact to risk management tools (futures options insurance) on risk. Interplay between derivatives and crop insurance. Value at Risk Curves. Team based approach to develop speculative skills.

Dermot Hayes Portrait

Bio: Dermot Hayes is a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. He holds the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Chair in Agribusiness, he is a professor of economics, and a professor of finance. In 2006 he received a “Publication of Enduring Quality” award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. AAEA named him a Fellow in 2007, its highest recognition for distinction in the discipline. Besides his analysis of U.S. farm policy and international agricultural trade, his other research interests include crop insurance, financial derivatives and the potential impact of China on commodity markets. Since 1995 he has been a consulting trade economist for the National Pork Producers Association.

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Summary: The modern food system is complex and involves many different processes and steps to deliver safe and nutritious food to the consumer. As such, understanding the fundamentals of the system and the relative strengths and weaknesses is important to understand the extent and effectiveness of traceability, in the event of an issue of public health concern. This class will provide an overview of the food system as it currently exists in North America; including production, processing, distribution, and retail delivery to the consumer. The course will emphasize the regulatory structure in the United States and how it interacts with both food imports and exports, as well as domestic consumption. The course will consist of two consecutive days of presentations, followed by a three day visit to Washington DC to allow the participants to interact with members of various Federal agencies who influence food policy in the United States.

This course will be taught by Drs. Byron Brehm-Stecher, James Dickson, Shannon Coleman, Gretchen Moser, Angela Shaw, along with online videos from top experts in the area of food and agricultural traceability.

Course: This seminar course will introduce students to trends impacting agricultural and food businesses.  Students will be exposed to content and experts from across the industry.  In addition, they will be challenged to develop their own ideas about how these trends will impact their own business and profession.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand the structure of agriculture and food industries, recognize trends impacting agricultural and food businesses, and demonstrate an ability to apply insights from the course to their own business and career.

Bio: Kevin Kimle currently serves as the Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University, Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics.  Kimle’s work includes development and delivery of entrepreneurship curriculum and programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, outreach programs to aspiring entrepreneurs and agribusiness executives, and research on entrepreneurship and innovation. Business expertise that Kimle has gained in starting and running companies as well as incubating them includes equity capital formation, business model design, business plan development and financial model development and design.  He a frequent speaker to audiences across the U.S. about building and using an entrepreneurial mindset, megatrends in agriculture and the food industry, and building innovation cultures.

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Course Description: Effective human resource management is essential for contemporary organizations. In particular, organizations are increasingly utilizing data-driven approaches to human resource management in order to maximize their performance. The course includes an introduction to human resource theory and practice integrated with hands-on experience with measurement and analysis techniques applicable to business professionals. The course will emphasize the use of data science to analyze short- and long-term consequences of specific human resource practices on the organization and on society as a whole. The course is designed for all managers with the responsibilities of planning, recruiting, selecting, training, and developing talent in an organization as well as compensating, retaining, and managing the performance and careers of a diverse and talented workforce. A human capital-centric approach is taken to emphasize how an organization’s design and talent management has direct consequences on its adaptability and success.

Mike Howe Portrait

Bio: Mike Howe is an assistant professor in the management department of the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University. Prior to joining Iowa State, he held several positions in strategic supply chain management and new product development at John Deere and was subsequently on the faculty at the University of Alabama. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA in supply chain management and PhD in OB/HR from Michigan State University. His research interests include adaptation, data science, decision making, turnover, and research methods. His research has been published in many leading academic journals.

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Course Description: This course focuses on current concepts and practical issues with information systems in organizations. Information systems are comprised of hardware, software, infrastructure, data, people, and procedures. It is critical for organizations to synchronize the strategy of their information systems with their overall strategy to maximize value. We will focus on how information systems can be used to improve organizational and individual work practices, how information systems can be used to develop better products and deliver superior services, and the role of information technology in supporting decision making. In addition, we will discuss the competitive pressures and risks related to information systems, planning and execution of new systems, and the value of business analytics.

Kevin Scheibe Portrait

Bio: Kevin Scheibe is a Kingland Faculty Fellow in Business Analytics and Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Iowa State University. He received a PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an Executive MBA from California State University, San Marcos, and a BS in Computer Science from Biola University. His teaching interests include machine learning and business analytics, decision support systems, and management information systems. He has over 15 years of experience teaching at graduate and undergraduate levels and has developed and delivered courses in the U.S. and abroad. His research interests concentrate on the value of business analytics in IT privacy and security, supply chain risk, location analytics, and wireless telecommunications. Prior to academia he spent ten years in industry as a software engineer, IT consultant, and director of operations for a real estate investment company.

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Course Description: This course will be designed to provide an in-depth view of Agriculture, Food and Biosystems organizations outside of the US.  The destination of the study tour will rotate among European, Asian, and South American destinations. The 2021 trip is planned for Western Europe, including The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.  The trip includes visits to prominent businesses and the EU headquarters.  Students and two faculty members will get to interact with leaders of the various organizations and to learn first-hand of the unique challenges and opportunities faced in the EU.

Instructors -TBD

Course: Interactive lectures will be scheduled every Friday during in person sessions.  Thought leaders from the world of Food, Agriculture, Biosystems and Academia will present their assessment of the current economical, technological and/or social environments and changes on the horizon.

Instructors -Suku Radia

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Course Description: This course studies the major financial decisions facing corporate managers. Corporate financial management revolves around two key issues: i) deciding which potential investments to undertake (“capital budgeting decision”), and ii) determining how best to finance the investment opportunities that add value to the business (“capital structure decision”).  The course explores the concepts and skills needed to make these decisions, focusing on techniques for valuing real and financial assets and appropriate ways to measure the cost of capital. We will also discuss the attributes of different financing sources (debt vs. equity), how we might identify a company’s optimal financial structure, and how financing constraints affect firm investment decisions.

Jamie Brown Portrait

Bio: James R. Brown, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Finance at Iowa State University. He currently holds the Kingland MBA Professorship and Dean’s Professorship in Finance. His research explores the financing of innovation and the institutional determinants of economic performance. His most recent work studies how country-level tax and policy reforms impact corporate R&D spending, and how the development of local banking markets affect both household credit management and regional economic growth. His research has been published in leading academic journals in finance, management, and innovation studies, including the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, and Research Policy. In 2016 he received the MBA Executive Advisory Council Teaching Excellence award. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. with Honors from Transylvania University.

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Course Description: This course helps managers develop a marketing orientation towards situational assessment and decision making.  It also delves into tactics that enhance functional effectiveness in areas such as product planning and positioning, market analysis and segmentation, promotion and advertising, brand management, and business-to-business relationship building.  The course reviews fundamentals such as value-proposition development, the marketing mix, and buyer behavior; while also touching on contemporary topics such as customer-oriented decision making and brand communities.

Bio: Dr. Russ Laczniak is currently the John and Connie Stafford Professor of Business and Professor of Marketing in the Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University. He holds degrees from Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to entering academia, Russ held positions in product management and marketing research at Wisconsin Bell in Milwaukee, WI.  While at Iowa State, he has worked in a consultative manner with multiple companies including 3M and PepsiCo.  Russ formerly served as editor of the Journal of Advertising and was president and treasurer of the American Academy of Advertising. His current research focuses on children’s reactions to various types of marketing communications and has been published in leading marketing and advertising journals.  In 2014, Russ received the Ivan L. Preston Award for his lifetime contribution to research from the American Academy of Advertising.

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Course Description: Organization Behavior, is designed to provide you with an overview of behavioral science theory, research, and practice. Organizational behavior, commonly referred to as OB, is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to better understanding and managing people at work.  This knowledge is essential for developing the managerial skills needed to effectively manage in today’s competitive environment. This course applies theories of individual behavior, group behavior, and organizational dynamics to solve a host of performance-based problems associated with organizational effectiveness. We will examine three general types of issues:

  1. Develop effective learning teams.
  2. Develop strategies for working effectively with others including others who are different from you (individual differences).
  3. Develop an awareness of different leadership styles and which one(s) are most appropriate for you.
  4. Develop implementation management skills.

Jim Summers PortraitBio: Jim Summers is the Max J. Wortman, Jr. professor and associate professor of management at Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University. He earned his PhD at Florida State University in organizational behavior and human resources management. He has taught courses on contemporary leadership, negotiation, organizational behavior, and human resource management across undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral levels, and led study abroad courses to several countries. Jim was awarded the Junior Faculty Research Award from the College of Business in 2014 and Exemplary Faculty Mentor Award in 2017. His research interests include team structure and change, social influence processes including political skill, stigma and status, the nature of work relationships, and executive work design. Jim has published his work in numerous leading academic journals.

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Course Description: The Strategy and Executive Leadership course will focus on the intersection of business strategy and executive leadership. It will examine how the external environment in concert with company resources define the boundaries of business strategy. Guest speakers, live examples, classic frameworks and case studies will be used to illustrate the challenges faced at the top level of large organizations.

Sam DeMarie Portrait

Bio: Samuel M. DeMarie is the Director of the Executive MBA in Food, Agriculture and Biosystems, and an Associate Professor of Management at Iowa State University. He received his PhD in Strategic Management from Arizona State University, an MBA from UNLV and an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Northern Arizona University.  He has over 20 years of experience teaching graduate courses in Strategic Management and has designed and led numerous international study abroad courses.  Prior to entering academia, Dr. DeMarie spent 11 years in a variety of executive and corporate officer positions with construction product and services related companies. Dr. DeMarie is also an active business consultant working with companies in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, corporate change initiatives, and team performance.  His research interests center on the effects of new technologies on competition and the workplace, including the phenomena of virtual teamwork, divestiture, and strategic flexibility. Dr. DeMarie has published research in a variety of top academic journals and has presented at numerous national and international conferences.

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Course Description: Food, agribusiness, and bio-products firms face fierce competition and demanding consumers.  These firms operate in increasingly complex, risky, and competitive farm-to-fork and bio-products value chains.  In some markets the types and even the nature of how food is purchased has changed.  Food, agribusiness, and bio-products firms must recognize that integration of key business processes across members of their supply chains ultimately determine their competitive success in delivering consumers the safe products they demand in an efficient and sustainable manner.  Effect supply chain management is critical.

This course explores fundamentals of effect supply chain management (demand planning, operations management, inventory control, and transportation management) in the context of food and agri-businesses.  Supply chain management topics critical to food, agribusiness and bio-products firms (e.g., quality and risk management, government regulation, high levels of uncertainty, the globalization of agriculture and food flows, and sustainability and ethical responsibilities) are addressed.  While the main objective is to develop an understanding of the critical role effective supply chain management has in food and agribusiness firms, the course will also challenge students to explore topics uniquely critical to supply chain management in food and agribusiness firms.  The class will use both theory and case studies to engage participants in discussions related to real supply chain management issues and opportunities found in practice.

Bobby Martens Portrait

Bio: Bobby Martens is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Academic Launch Director Supply Chain Management Forum in the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business at Iowa State University.  Bobby earned his PhD from the Purdue University and MS and BS degrees in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota State University.  His primary research interests are supply chain network design, domestic transportation and supply chain risk, and food and agricultural supply chains. Engaged scholarship – working directly with companies to produce industry-relevant academic scholarship – is a central theme in his research.  Recent research includes supply chain design in the bio-economy, the effects of rate age and shipper practices on transportation rates and a decision tool for small-scale African seed entrepreneurs.  Martens published articles in top supply chain journals such as Decision Sciences Journal and Journal of Business Logistics and in Ag-Business journals such as the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.  In addition to teaching undergraduate courses, he is involved in Iowa State University’s Masters in Seed Business and Technology program and is a member of the Iowa State University MBA Core Teaching Team.  Prior to earning his PhD, Martens worked as an account manager at Schneider Logistics.  He is an active member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

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