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Financial and Marketing Management in Agri-Food Industries
FRE 516
Instructor: Kelleen Wiseman
Office: McML 352
Office Hours: Mon & Wed 12:00 - 1:00pm
Class Schedule: Mon & Wed 1:00 - 2:30pm
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Class Websites

Course Materials (Notes, Assignments, Solutions) will be posted at: UBC Canvas

Poll Everywhere: This is a simple application that allows you to text short answer or answer multiple choice questions using mobile devices like phones or laptops. See instructions and invite link (PPT) on the course web as to how to register for Poll Everywhere.

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the principles of financial and marketing management that are most relevant to agri-food and related firms. The content of the course will provide students with the insight and skills necessary to develop, evaluate and implement financial and market strategies. This will be accomplished through the presentation of management fundamentals; financial principles and marketing frameworks; class discussions; and the completion of an applied management project. Emphasis will be placed on the unique considerations of food and agribusiness goods and sector.

This course is organized into four modules including:

  • financial management – statement development & business control and planning
  • business management – business structures & capitalization
  • market analysis - industry & competitive structure analysis
  • risk, financing and economic analysis – financing, risk, leverage and investment analysis

Academic Misconduct

The integrity of academic work depends on the honesty of all those who work in this environment and the observance of accepted conventions such as acknowledging the work of others through careful citation of all sources used in your work. Plagiarism - including self-plagiarism - and other forms of academic misconduct are treated as serious offences at UBC, whether committed by faculty, staff or students. You should be aware of the sections of the University Calendar that address academic integrity and plagiarism ( The UBC library also has a useful web-based Plagiarism Resource Centre that explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it (

In this course, you will be required to submit some material in electronic form. The electronic material will be submitted to a service which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This service checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. For more information, review TurnItIn online.

Learning Outcomes

After this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the unique features of the food and agribusiness system and products as viewed from a business management perspective.
  • Develop, interpret and utilize the financial statements of net worth, balance sheet, net income and cash flow for planning and control.
  • Describe and explain the relationships between the main financial statements.
  • Evaluate and compare the legal structures available for agri-food firms.
  • Develop and interpret financial ratios to assess the liquidity, solvency, profitability, efficiency, operating leverage, financial progress and breakeven points of businesses in various stages of establishment.
  • Apply marketing frameworks to assess market structure, competition and profitability in order to support decision making and strategy for contemporary food and agribusiness firms.
  • Compare and evaluate the different types of business financing.
  • Identify the sources, assessment and strategies associated with business and financial risk.
  • Describe and perform time value of money (equivalence) calculations including present and future value of non-uniform, uniform, arithmetic and geometric cash flow series.
  • Formulate and apply interest factors to real life business problems including development of equivalent uniform annual value, present and future value of cash flows and loan payments using nominal and effective interest rates.
  • Evaluate capital investment business-focused alternatives using internal rate of return (IRR), net present value, future value, incremental analysis, profitability index, benefit-cost and payback period methods.
  • Perform capital budgeting analysis in special cases such as replacements and public projects.

Required Textbooks

Custom MFRE 516 Textbook: Available at the Copiesmart (103-5728 University Blvd, University Village). The cost for the custom textbook is defined by Copiesmart. A significant portion of the factsheets, sample questions and readings in the custom textbook are updated and edited each year, so I suggest you purchase a 2017 version from Copiesmart.

Financial Management in Agriculture 7th Edition - Peter J Barry and Paul Ellinger, Pearson Prentice Hall. This is not available via the UBC bookstore. I suggest you use the eBook for the term that is available via Google Books $45; Vital Source $30; or MyPearsonStore $30.

Evaluation Plan

DATE PROPOSED VALUE (% of final grade)
In-Class Activities: Throughout the term 6
Epolls using Throughout the term 5
Quiz Sept 20 5
Assignments 1, 2, 3 (3% each) See dates below 12
Case TBA 15
Midterm October 4 22
Final Exam (cumulative) TBA 35

In-Class Activities (6%)

Objective: To encourage students to be active and engaged in learning during class, promote class questions/discussion and provide questions that emphasize content that is relevant for the learning outcomes and exams.

Seven individual in-class activities will take place throughout the term. These will not be announced ahead of time and must be completed on your own in approximately 10 minutes and submitted in the class during which they were assigned. The marker for the course will grade these activities basis the rubric: 0 missing information/poor; 0.5 adequate but needs details/work; 1 satisfactory. Late submissions will not be not accepted. There are no do-overs or extra credit for missed activities. If you miss an activity for any reason, you will receive a grade of 0 in that activity. Your grade will be assessed using the best six grades of the seven activities, with each question allotted 1 pt toward the total of 6%. Solutions to activities will be posted shortly after the in-class activity has been provided in class.

E-Polls (5%)

Objective: To encourage students to be engaged in the material during class and to come prepared to class.

Registration for Poll Everywhere: Poll everywhere is a simple application that allows you to text short answer or answer multiple choice questions using mobile devices like phones or laptops. Students will need to register (at no cost) and then participate in the poll by visiting a mobile-friendly web page. Use the web invite and the power point available on Canvas to assist in registration.

Using Epolls:

  • Bring one mobile device to class with you each class: Once registered, then no matter what device is used (laptop, smartphone, tablet) you will be able to login, participate in the poll and your answers will be logged. Be sure you log in at the beginning of each class.
  • Answer Questions provided in Class: Forty-five multiple choice questions will be provided in class (approximately two questions each week). You will receive one point for a correct answer and 0 for an incorrect answer. Your grade will be assessed using the top grades from forty out of the forty five questions, with each question allotted 0.125 pts toward the total of 5%. All polls must be completed in-class. Late submissions will not be not accepted. There are no do-overs or extra credit for missed activities. If you miss an Epoll for any reason, you will receive a 0 in that Epoll.

Exams (62 %)

  • The quiz (20 minutes) and midterm (90 minutes in class) dates are provided in the course schedule of the outline. The final exam (2.5 hours) date will be provided by the MFRE administrators later in the term. Exam format will include problem solving and short answer questions. Examinations will be closed books and closed notes. All exams will be cumulative.
  • During the quiz, midterm and final exam, students will be permitted to use a non-programmable calculator with built-in or preprogrammed financial and scientific functions. The calculator must NOT be capable of storing text or alphanumeric data or provide Internet connectivity. Calculators that meet these requirements are available from the UBC Bookstore and Staples. Non-regulation calculators will be removed and no replacement calculator will be provided. Students will not be permitted to use programmable calculator even if you clear all programs out of the memory of the calculator. The checking of calculator memory is just too difficult for TAs & disruptive for students to operationalize during examination time.
  • If you are unable to write an examination, you must have a verifiable doctor note and must contact me before or immediately after the scheduled date/time and present documentation explaining your absence. If the excuse is considered legitimate, then the weight of the exam will be transferred to the final exam. There will be no makeup midterm examinations.

Assignments (12%)

Objective: To provide students with applications to solidify course content and practice short answer questions and quantitative problems associated with the major 516 concepts.

All assignments should follow this protocol:

  • Title page providing the assignment number, student name and UBC number
  • Questions placed in the correct order
  • Assignments are to be submitted in a PDF format to CANVAS. You can convert to PDF using free PrimoPDF printer (available at or Tiny Scanner to scan the doc using your cell phone. It is your responsibility to produce readable files.
  • Excel usage is encouraged for the completion of the financial assignments but you must upload a PDF doc of the excel for grading. Be sure that your entire active excel worksheets is placed into PDF and is readable.
  • Show your work on the assignment and not just a single answer.
  • Neatly hand written or use Excel/Word. Messy assignments will not be accepted.

You may work with other students but you must turn in your own individual assignment. If you have an answer that is too close to another student’s answer, you will both be given a 0 in the question without recourse and this will be handled according to the policies of the university.

Assignment 1 Sept 20 Sept 27 Oct 2
Assignment 2 Nov 1 Nov 8 Nov 13
Assignment 3 Nov 20 Nov 27 Dec 4

Due dates/times will be posted on the assignments. Solutions to assignments will be posted via the course web site shortly after the due date/time. Please note, to be fair to all students, late assignments are not accepted. There is no partial score for late submissions; no makeup assignment, no do overs or extra credit offered for missed assignments.

Case (15%)

You will get the opportunity to apply the principles from the class to a real-world business/industry by conducting a case analysis. You will be provided with a list of the business/industry options that can be used for your case mid-September. The topic of your case will need to be pre-approved by myself and the Alejandro Barrero, course TA. A handout outlining timing and requirements for the case will be provided mid-September.

Course Policies

Class Notes and Structure

Notes will be available on the website prior the class. These notes provide only the basic information on the topics. Each student is expected to take additional notes and write down examples/case solutions during class. Don’t just sit and use the custom textbook in class as you will miss valuable information that is important to your knowledge gain and will be on the exam.

Class material will be presented via the standard lecture format and a flipped classroom model. The flipped classroom model will be used to present select topics in this course including Financial Terms, Porter Five Forces, Cooking the Books: Integrity in Financial Statements, Legal Business Structures and Capital Budgeting Techniques. In this pedagogical model student read assigned material prior the class so that in-class time is devoted to discussion, testing their skills in applying knowledge, and interacting with one another in hands-on activities. You will need to prep to make this work!

Name Tags

You will be provided with a nametag during the first class. Please ensure you bring this name tag and display it each class. Thanks!

Class Protocol

  • Be on time for class. You are in a UBC professional graduate program– manage your time. It is very disruptive for the rest of the students and the professor if you enter the classroom late.
  • Participation is important in this class, especially since all students bring important and interesting real-world experience to discussions. All students are expected to come to class having read the assigned readings and be ready to engage in the material.
  • Laptops are not necessary in the classroom. If you must have a laptop in class, then manage your access so as to respect others and the instructor by focusing on the lecture.
  • Cell phones should be accessed only for time tracking and Epoll. Texting in class is not professional!
  • Do not enter and exit the classroom during the class. The class is one hour and twenty minutes long and you are expected to be in the class the entire time.

Course Schedule

Weeks 1/2
  • Unique Features of the Food and Agribusiness products and firms
  • Interaction of Management, Finance and Marketing Functions
  • Characterization of the Food & Agribusiness sector- SWOT
  • Legal Structures: Options, Description, Selection and Considerations
Custom Textbook:
 Factsheets p 3
 Readings  p 5 to 42

Barry & Ellinger Text:

 Chapters 1, 20, 21
Weeks 2/3/4/5/6
  • Financial Statement Development
    • Financial Management Overview: Activities, Statements, Terms & GAAP
    • Net Worth
    • Depreciation
    • Balance Sheet
    • Accrued and Cash Income Statements
    • Cash Flow Statements
    • Statement of Owners Equity & Financial Progress
  • Business Control and Planning
    • Horizontal & Vertical Analysis
    • Financial Indicators: Profitability, Efficiency, Liquidity, & Solvency Analysis, Financial Progress
    • Break Even & Sensitivity Analysis
    • Operating Leverage
Custom Textbook:
 Factsheets p 43
 Readings  p 147

Barry & Ellinger Text:

 Chapters 2, 3, 4 20
MIDTERM October 4
Weeks 6 /7/8 * Overview of Food & Agribusiness Marketing
    • Approaches to Marketing
    • Key Elements of the Food & Agribusiness Sector
    • Market Research Considerations
  • Frameworks for Analyzing Industry Structure & Performance
    • Industry Analytics & Life Cycle
    • Porter: Five Forces & Competitive Advantage
    • PESTLE Analysis
    • Competitive Matrix
    • SWOT, Ansoff, Boston
    • POSITION & Perceptual Mapping
    • Product Life Cycle & Product Adoption Process
    • Additional Frameworks as time permits
Custom Textbook:
 Factsheets p 339
 Readings  p 351

Barry & Ellinger Text:

 Chapter 14
Weeks 9/10/11/12/13 * Source of Financing
    • Using Debt and Equity for Capital Purchases
    • Financial Leverage & Capitalization
    • Cost of Capital Assessment
  • Investment Analysis
    • Introduction and Application of the Time Value of Money: annuities, perpetuities, loan values, interest rates, and capital investment
  • Risk Management & Decision Making
    • Integrating risk and decision making
Custom Textbook:
 Factsheets p 419
 Readings  p 443

Barry & Ellinger Text:

 Chapters 6, 8, 9, 10

* This schedule should be regarded as a general plan. There may be some variation from this schedule as we proceed.