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Financial and Marketing Management in Agri-Food Industries
FRE 516
Instructor: Kelleen Wiseman,MBA in Agribusiness, PhD
Office: MCML 329; UBC #: 604-822-9704
Office Hours:
Class Schedule: Mon & Wed 10:00–11:30

Fri 12:30–14:00

Classroom: MCML 154
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Class Information


Kelleen Wiseman, MBA in Agribusiness, PhD

Contact Information:;

Office: MCML 329; UBC #: 604‐822‐9704

Class Schedule:

Lectures: Monday & Wednesday 10:00 to 11:30 am MCML 154

Labs: Friday (mandatory) 12:30 to 2:00 pm MCML 154 (Not every Friday: check MFRE schedule)

Office hours:

M/W 11:30‐12:30 MCML 154

Platforms: Canvas and Piazza

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the financial, sector, and investment/valuation frameworks and concepts that are most relevant to investment decision‐making in the food and resource sector. Course concepts are applicable to many sectors, but emphasis will be placed on understanding how the unique features of the food and resource sector influence the managers’ decision process and purpose for the firm.

This course is organized into three connected modules including:

Module 1: Financial Management Fundamentals - Financial Statement Development & Analysis

Module 2: Sector Profile & Analysis - Industry‐level Models

Module 3: Investment & Valuation Analysis - Financing, Investment Decision Making, & Valuation

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students can expect to:

  • Identify and describe the unique features of the food, environment, and resource sector and their influence on the investment decision making process and goal setting.
  • Contrast major legal structures utilized by food and resource firms.
  • Define the term “sustainability” and the application in the food, environmental and agribusiness sector.
  • Develop and interpret the main financial statements: Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Changes in Owner Equity, Net Income, And Cash Flow.
  • Evaluate a firm’s financial performance using financial analysis techniques: Ratios, Dupont, Graphs, Common Size Statements, Cost–Volume–Profit/Breakeven Analysis & Leverage.
  • Differentiate business and financial risk sources & strategies.
  • Identify and evaluate secondary market research sources for sector analysis.
  • Describe, compare, and utilize industry‐level frameworks/models to obtain a clear view of a sector.
  • Contrast industry versus firm models in terms of purpose and analysis.
  • Critically conduct investment decisions by applying the techniques of time value of money (internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), profitability index, and payback period) and valuation (weighted average cost of capital, free cash flow, discounted cash flow).
  • Compare the different forms of business financing and loan computations used by food and resource firms.
  • Demonstrate XLS best practices of data access/cleaning, financial analysis planning and presentation, and dashboard design.

Successful Learning in FRE 516

Read Textbook and Assignment Course Materials:

Read all required materials (text readings, cases, notes, articles) before coming to class. Course content is delivered via lectures, labs, in‐class activities, assignments, participation, and final report.

Participate in Class:

Actively participate in class discussions (online and in‐person) and polls. Respond to questions by instructor and other students. Use a respectful and professional manner when participating in discussions. Listen and ask questions of others ‐ all students bring important and interesting real‐world experience to discussions.

Take Notes in Class:

Taking notes helps you focus on the main concepts and improves your active listening to support comprehension and retention of material. Quality note taking includes review of learning outcomes so that you are clear on the focus of the class and can record details and examples of key concepts.

Be on Time and Be Prepared:

Be on time for class and ready to learn. Be an engaged learner ‐ push yourself to ask questions, pay attention, complete quality in‐class activities, come to office hours with quality questions, be organized, and use strong time management skills.

Collaborate with Others:

Practice leadership and teamwork skills to maximize value and gain synergies in group work and group projects. Make an effort to encourage other group members participate and contribute.

Learning Materials

Custom Textbook: Posted on Canvas

  • Three Sections Connected to Three Modules

Cases/Articles and Questions: Posted on Canvas

  • These will be taken up during the labs/class.
  • Please prep for these so you can contribute!
  • Check course schedule on canvas for when these will be taken up and the associated topics.

Excel: Use and References: Posted on Canvas

  • Be sure to apply the Course Developed “Best Practices” and Summer Excel Bootcamp content to the FRE 516 assignments.


In-Class Activities (Best 5 of 7) Throughout the term 10
Participation Throughout the term 8
Assignments 1, 2, 3 (Best 2 of 3 assignment) 10
Group Report – Investor Report 22
Midterm 25
Final Exam 25

Details of Assessments and Course Policies


Grade based upon the best 5 of 7 assignments.

Objective: To encourage students to engage in class/labs, increase awareness of type of exam questions to expect, and practice developing clear and concise answers to bigger concept questions.

  • 7 individual 10 minute in‐class activities will be completed throughout the term. These will not be announced ahead of time and must be completed individually and without the use of course materials in approximately 10 minutes and submitted on Canvas in the class during which they were assigned.
  • Grading Rubric: 0 missing information/poor; 0.5 adequate but needs details/work; 1 satisfactory.
  • Late submissions will not be 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 five grades of the seven activities, with each question allotted 2 pts toward the total of 10%. Solutions to activities will be posted shortly after the in‐class activity has been provided in class.


Objectives: Students have the opportunity to challenge themselves to produce a deeper analytic investment analysis report by combining a firm’s financial performance, sector view, time value of money techniques, valuation methods and decision impact (i.e., ethical, socially responsible, and sustainable).

Group Report Basic Information

  • Groups: You will be asked to organize yourself into groups of 2 and then the course assistant will use these groups to develop a larger group of 4 students.
  • Topics: Your report will focus on one of the defined sectors (and 2 firms). You will get to rank your sector of interest.
  • Deliverables: In group and individual reports will be required.
  • Dates & Details: A handout outlining deadlines and content requirements will be provided later in semester.


Grade based upon the best 2 of 3 assignments.

Objective: To provide students with the opportunity to practice applying course concepts/models and encourage a practical understanding of the concepts that goes beyond memorization of description.

All assignments should follow this protocol:

  • Working with Others on an Assignment: 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 &/or assignment without recourse and this will be handled according to the policies of the program/university.
  • Assignment Schedule: Due dates/times will also be posted on the MFRE Schedule assignments (View schedule online). Assignments will be posted approximately 7 to 10 days prior to due date. Solutions to assignments will be posted via the course web site shortly after the due date/time.
  • Late Assignments not accepted. To be fair to all students, late assignments are not accepted and there is no partial score for late submissions, no makeup assignment, and no reallocation of marks, do‐overs, or extra credit options.
  • Best 2 of 3 Assignment grades counted as your score: Three assignments will be provided during the course. You can complete all 3 assignments and I will use the best 2 of 3 scores or you can complete only 2 assignments and I will use those 2 grades to compute your assignment grade. Your choice. No need to decide ahead of time.
  • Excel must be used for all financial‐based assignments. Please ensure your Excel follow Best Practices for Excel (developed during our lab) and Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism (See syllabus information).
  • Format for Assignments:
    1. Title page with course number, assignment number, student name and UBC number
    2. Answers provided in the correct order and PDF format. Be sure that your answers from excel worksheets is readable – often they are much too small to read.
    3. Excel file must also be uploaded with assignment.
    4. Be sure to show your work on all assignment ‐ not just a single answer.
    5. Messy or disorganized assignments are not acceptable and will result in either a zero or reduced grade.


  • Objective: To provide the opportunity to
  1. Use/discuss/integrate course principles to current and applied settings
  2. Gain technical skills applicable to FRE 516 concepts and work on cases that integrate course concepts
  3. Gain and apply research skills for sector analysis
  • Technical: Lab MS Excel Best Practice and Excel Financial Analysis and Dashboards
  • Cases: Cases with questions will be posted on Canvas in advance of labs. Students should read the case, prepare rough notes for answers and be ready to share answers/computations during class. Students do not have to hand in any materials. Case solutions may or may not be provided, so be prepared to write down answers and key points.
  • FRE 516 lab dates available on MFRE online schedule.
  • Lab content included in exams.


Objective: Exams are a form of learning activity that motivate students to study and instructors to evaluate students’ understanding of topics and ability to apply course concepts. In addition, exams provide feedback that students can then use to improve their understanding.

Exam Length and Format: Exam format will include short answer and computational questions. Examinations will be closed books and closed notes. All exams will be cumulative. The midterm will be 80 minutes during class time and the final exam (TBA 2 to 3 hours). Exams dates will be posted on the MFRE Online Schedule.

Calculator Use: During the 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 cumbersome and is disruptive for other students as they write their exam.

Unable to Write Exam Due to Illness: If you are unable to write an examination, you must have a verifiable doctor note, contact me before or immediately after the scheduled exam 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.


Objective: To encourage students to be an active class participant and contribute to collective knowledge for the course.

Opportunities for Participation:

  • Active discussion during small group and class discussion sessions
  • Asking quality questions and answering instructor and other student’s questions during class and on online platforms
  • Active contribution on Piazza
  • Contributions during labs: Labs are meant to be interactive. Read the provided case and be ready to answer and ask quality questions
  • Questions re: Lectures on Piazza: Before a lecture, students are encouraged to submit questions about the lecture topic to the discussion forum for Piazza (i.e., things they do not know or want to know).
  • Comments to Group Reports on Piazza: Prior group report check‐in (Oct, Nov, Dec), students can submit their questions re: their group report on Piazza that they would like their cohort to answer
  • Hot Topic Friday: Students are encouraged to submit current new/events articles on Piazza connected to the week’s topic to Piazza by Noon Friday. We will review select articles in class.

Class Participation Rubric

Category Exceptional








Frequency of


Student initiates

contributions regularly during

class /online platforms.

Student initiates

contribution semi-regularly

during class

/online platforms.

Student makes

occasional contribution.

Student does not

attend many lectures

or does not initiate any


Quality of


Contributions are always

insightful & constructive; uses

appropriate terminology.

Contributions balanced

between course content and

not opinions but are specific,

thoughtful criticisms or


Contributions mostly

insightful &

constructive; mostly

uses appropriate



comments are too

general, an opinion

and not course content

focused, or not

relevant to the


Contributions are


constructive, with

occasional signs of


Student does not use

appropriate terminology;

comments not always

relevant to the


Contributions are

uninformative, lacking

in appropriate


Heavy reliance on

opinion & personal

taste versus critical use

of course content.

General Course Policies

Turn it In Access FRE 516:

  • Students should check all their assignments/papers/group reports for plagiarism concerns prior to submission. This can be done by submitting these to the Turnitin service and reviewing the similarity index reports
  1. Turn it in Login (website) AND Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website). Use Class ID 3546663 and Enrollment Key 13669038 to access MFRE course folder, submit assignments/papers, and review similarity index reports.
  2. You do not have to upload the turn it in report with your submission – this is for your use.
  • The Instructor/Course Assistant will submit all assignments/papers/group reports to Turnitin. Plagiarism : All incidences of plagiarism will be turned over to the MFRE Academic Director and managed via the MFRE program policies.

Course Schedule

Week 1 Overview of the course syllabus: Important items for your review

Food and Resource Sectors Defined

Unique features of the Food & Resource Sector

Investment Decision Making & 3 Connecting the 3 Modules

Weeks 2/3/4/5/6 Financial Management versus Accounting

Major Financial Statements

Financial Reporting Mechanics

Classification of Business Activities

Rules in Financial Statement Development: GAAP, Standards, &


Key terms in Financial Reporting & Statements

Legal structures: Basics and trade‐offs

Accounting Equation

Financial Statement Development/Details

  • Net Worth, Balance Sheet & Depreciation
  • Net Income
  • Cash Flow
  • Statement of Owners Equity
  • Linking the Statements

Financial Analysis Techniques

  • Common Size Analysis & Data Visualization
  • Ratios/Dupont Analysis
  • Cost–Volume–Profit & Breakeven Analysis
  • Risk and Leverage Analysis
Module 1 Readings
  • Financial Management
  • Depreciation
  • Balance Sheet
  • Net Worth Statement
  • Net Income Statement: Accrued
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Linking the Financial Statements of Changes in Owner Equity
  • Financial Analysis

Additional Readings

  • Financial Statements and Business Decisions
MIDTERM - October 26
Weeks 6/7/8/9 Market Research: Sources, Databases, Assessment

Sector profile Overview

Models/Frameworks: Purpose & Process

  • Industry Level
  • Firm Level

Sustainability Reporting and Assessment in Food & Resource Sector

Module 2 Readings
  • Sector Profile
  • The Structural Analysis of the Industry: Michael Porter
Weeks 9/10/11/


Financing Firms in the Food and Resource Sector
  • Forms of business financing and loan computations

Investment decisions

  • Time Value of Money Concept (internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), profitability index, and payback period)
  • Valuation (weighted average cost of capital, free cash flow, discounted cash flow).
Module 3 Readings
  • Financing the Firm & Compound Interest Tables
  • A Firm’s Source of Financing
  • Investment Decisions: The Time Value of Money
  • The Validity of Company Valuation Using Discounted Cash Flow Methods

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

Policies Applicable to UBC MFRE Courses

Respectfulness in the Classroom

Students are expected to be respectful of their colleagues at all times, including faculty, staff and peers. This means being attentive and conscious of words and actions and their impact on others, listening to people with an open mind, treating all MFRE community members equally and understanding diversity. Students who act disrespectfully toward others will be asked to leave the class and be marked as absent for the day. They may also be removed from a team, lose credit for in‐class assessments and activities, or be asked to complete a group assignment individually.

Respect for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The MFRE Program strives to promote an intellectual community that is enhanced by diversity along various dimensions including status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, social class, and/or disability. It is critical that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be valued in and well‐served by their courses. Furthermore, the diversity that students bring to the classroom should be viewed as a resource, benefit, and source of strength for your learning experience. It is expected that all students and members of our community conduct themselves with empathy and respect for others.

COVID‐19 Considerations

All students must assess themselves daily for COVID‐19 symptoms prior to coming to class. Please stay home if you exhibit symptoms or have tested positive for COVID‐19. A list of COVID‐19 symptoms can be found here . Use the BC Ministry of Health’s self‐assessment tool), to help determine whether further assessment or testing for COVID‐19 is recommended. Full UBC COVID‐19 Campus Rules can be found here . Note: Please stay home if you exhibit symptoms or have tested positive for COVID‐19 and immediately contact Olivier Ntwali, Academic Program Coordinator, your Course Instructor, and your Course Assistant.

Recordings and In‐Class Attendance

There is no required distribution of recordings of class. Recording will be provided based upon on the decision of the course instructor. Classes are designed as and are intended to be in‐person. Your attendance is expected. If you are unable to attend, the policy regarding missed classes described in the MFRE code of conduct and syllabus applies. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the materials you need for missed classes.

Writing Exams

All exams will be in‐person and will follow MFRE exam protocol (See Student Portal). Exams may be online, e.g., in Canvas, but students must be physically present and invigilated. If a student is unable to write an exam, they must have a verifiable doctor’s note and must contact the Course Instructor, Course Assistant, and MFRE Program Coordinator before the scheduled exam date/time. Documentation must be provided to explain your absence. If the documentation is considered legitimate, the Course Instructor will let you know how to proceed.

Plagiarism Penalties

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are taken very seriously in the MFRE program. All incidences of plagiarism will be escalated to the MFRE Academic Director. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a reduction of grade, a mark of zero on the assignment/exams of concern, failing the course or program, escalation/referral to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline, and/or expulsion from UBC. Note: If a MFRE student is required to extend his/her program due to failed course or unsatisfactory progress, they will need to pay the full MFRE tuition fees for that term(s) regardless of the number of courses that need to be retaken. It is each student’s responsibility to review and understand what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and how to avoid them. Review MFRE Code of Conduct, UBC academic dishonesty policies/penalties and course‐specific policies.

Turn it In Access for MFRE Courses: Internet‐based plagiarism detection service

Turn it in has been set up for MFRE courses. Submit all assignments/papers to this service and review similarity index reports. Turn it in Login (website). For instructions: See the Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website.). Use provided Class ID and Enrollment Key to access MFRE course folder, submit assignments/papers, and review similarity index reports.

Working with Others on an Assignment

You are encouraged to 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, this will be considered academic dishonest, and this will be handled according to the MFRE and UBC policies.

Missing Classes/Labs

Students are expected to attend all classes, labs, or workshops. If you cannot make it to a class, lab, or workshop due to a medical or personal emergency, please email your instructor, your course assistant, and Olivier Ntwali, MFRE Program Coordinator ahead of time to let them know. Students who miss classes regularly without a reasonable excuse may be subject to MFRE‐imposed penalties at the discretion of the Academic Director.

Centre for Accessibility

The Centre for Accessibility (CfA) facilitates disability‐related accommodations and programming initiatives designed to remove barriers for students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions. If you are registered with the CfA and are eligible for exam accommodations, it is your responsibility to let Olivier Ntwali, Academic Program Coordinator, and each of your Course Instructors know. You should book your exam writing with the CFA using its exam reservation system: for midterm exams or quizzes, at least 7 days in advance; and final exams, 7 days before the start of the formal exam period.


All materials of this course (course handouts, lecture slides, assessments, course readings, etc.) are the intellectual property of the instructor or licensed to be used in this course by the copyright owner. Redistribution of these materials by any means without permission of the copyright holder(s) constitutes a breach of copyright and may lead to academic discipline and could be subject to legal action. Any lecture recordings are for the sole use of the instructor and students enrolled in the class. In no case may the lecture recording, or part of the recording be used by students for any other purpose, either personal or commercial. Further, audio or video recording of classes are not permitted without the prior consent of the instructor.

Academic Honesty

Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. In many UBC courses, you will be required to submit 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 website online.
  • Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, unauthorized collaborative work; or use of unauthorized means to complete an examination.
  • Submitting others work as your own, may include but not limited to i. using, or attempting to use, another student’s answers; ii. providing answers to other students; iii.  failing to take reasonable measures to protect answers from use by other students; or iv. in the case of students who study together, submitting identical or virtually identical assignments for evaluation unless permitted by the course instructor.
  • Working with Others on an Assignment: You are encouraged to 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, this will be considered academic dishonesty and this will be handled according to the MFRE and UBC policies.
  • Resubmission of Material, submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  • Use of academic ghostwriting services, including hiring of writing or research services and submitting papers or assignments as his or her own.

Student Responsibility: Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and non‐acceptable conduct for examinations and graded assignments as presented via MFRE Code of Conduct; MFRE Turn it in, Course Syllabus, MFRE Instructors; Canvas and UBC academic misconduct policies.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty: The integrity of academic work depends on the honesty of all those who work in this environment and the observance of accepted conventions. Academic misconduct is treated as a serious offence at UBC and within the MFRE program. Penalties for academic dishonesty are applied at the discretion of the course instructor. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a reduction of grade or a mark of zero on the assignment, examination, or course and/or the matter is referred to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Note: If a student needs to extend his/her program due to a failed course or unsatisfactory progress, they will have to pay the full MFRE tuition fees for that term/s.

Resources: Review the following:

  • UBC Policies of Academic Honesty:
  1. UBC Academic Misconduct and Discipline (website.)
  2. UBC Learning Commons web‐based Academic Integrity (website)
  • Turn it In Access for MFRE Courses: Turn it in Login (website) and Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website)
  • Citing Sources:
  1. UBC Learning Commons Citation Resource (website)
  2. Purdue Lab How to Cite Sources (website)
  • Plagiarism
  1. Purdue University Plagiarism Overview (website)
  2. SFU Avoiding plagiarism (website)