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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: Monday & Wednesday 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Office hours will be held in MCML 329

Class Schedule: Monday & Wednesday 1:00 – 2:30 pm
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 on Canvas regarding how to register for Poll Everywhere. There is no cost or software associated with the registration. A registration invite will be sent via email.  

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the principles and frameworks of financial, investment and marketing management that are most applicable to agri-food and resource firm analytics. Course materials are widely applicable to various sectors, but emphasis will be placed on application of the material to the unique considerations of the agri-food and resource sector.

This course is organized into three modules including:

  • Financial Statement Analysis– statement development; 3 types of analysis; and linkages of financial statements
  • Industry & Competitive Analysis- industry & competitive frameworks
  • Financing & Investment Analysis – financing, risk, and economic analysis

Course Content Delivered via class lectures, case-based discussions in labs, in-class activities, e-polls and the completion of an applied management project. 

Learning Outcomes

After this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the unique features of the food, resource and agribusiness system connected to food and resources.
  • Develop and interpret the financial statements of balance sheet, net worth, changes in owner equity, net income and cash flow.
  • Apply and interpret results from financial analysis techniques including ratio analysis, graphs, common size analysis and cost–volume–profit & breakeven analysis/operating leverage.
  • Differentiate the terms and scope associated with accounting, financial management, computation and analysis.
  • Differentiate and apply the major industry analysis frameworks most applicable to contemporary food, resource and agri-food firms.
  • Compare the legal structures available for food, resource and agri-food firms.
  • Compare the different types of business financing available to food, resource and agri-food firms.
  • Identify the sources, assessment and strategies associated with business and financial risk.
  • Apply investment analysis techniques including valuation of present and future cash flows, loan calculations, impact of nominal and effective interest rates, perpetuity valuation, bond payout review and MARR definition to food and resource projects.
  • Apply capital budgeting analysis methods of internal rate of return (IRR), net present value, profitability index, benefit-cost and payback period to private and public investment projects.
  • Develop a best practices framework for investment, financial and industry/competitive analysis applications relevant to the food, resource and agri-food sector.

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 2019 version from Copiesmart. 

Evaluation Plan

In-Class Activities: Throughout the term 6
Participation (Case prep/lab, discussion, class discussion & Epolls) Throughout the term 10
Assignments 1, 2, 3, 4  (Best 3 of 4 assignment) Oct 7, Oct 21, Nov 13, Nov 27 12
Group Case Draft Nov 18, Final paper Nov 21 15
Midterm October 28 24
Final Exam (cumulative) TBA 33


Objective: To encourage students to be active and engaged in class content, promote class questions/discussion and emphasize major course concepts.

Seven individual in-class activities will take place throughout the term.  These will not be announced ahead of time and must be completed individually 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 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.


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.

Cases & Class Discussion: Labs will be held to discuss cases. Cases will be provided in advance of labs. These cases will focus on key concepts and areas that students generally find more challenging, more management or big-picture oriented. The date for each lab & case will be provided in class and will depend upon how quickly we move through the materials. Students should read the case, prepare rough notes/answers and be ready to provide their preliminary answers or computations during class. You do not have to hand in any materials. Solutions are not provided, so be prepared to record answers and key points as we discuss the case materials. Case content and discussions are included in exams and assignments.

EXAMS (57%)

The midterm (90 minutes in class) dates will be provided on Canvas. 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 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.  

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. This is a group project. You will be provided with a list of the business/industry options that can be used for your case mid-September. A handout outlining timing and requirements for the case will be provided mid-September. Due: Last week of class..  

ASSIGNMENTS (12%) 4 assignments – Best 3 of 4 assignments

Objective: To provide students with applications to solidify course content and practice short answer questions and quantitative problems associated with the course 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 use a scanner app to scan the doc using your cell phone. It is your responsibility to produce readable files.
  • Excel usage is required 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.
  • You can handwrite description question if they are well-organized and neat. 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 &/or assignment without recourse and this will be handled according to the policies of the program/university.

The assignment schedule will be posted onto Canvas this week. Due dates/times will also be posted on the assignments. 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. Please note, 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.

Course Policies


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 details/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 class discussion. Class discussions will include lecture slide questions, concepts from textbook readings and current articles. Be sure you complete the readings and keep up with the topics and assigned cases.


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


  • 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. 
  • Engage in the material. Come to class having read the assigned readings/cases and be ready to engage in the material. Read over the notes and know what topics are being discussed in class so you can absorb the value-added discussion and extra materials. Participation is important in this class, especially since all students bring important and interesting real-world experience to discussions.
  • Laptops are not necessary in the classroom. If you must have a laptop in class, then manage your access to respect others and the instructor by focusing on the lecture. Screens are tempting, and programs are developed to demand our attention. I encourage you to put aside the screens to focus on the lecture, take notes and ask questions.
  • 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. 


Academic honesty is essential to the continued functioning of The University of British Columbia as an institution of higher learning and research. All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.

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.
  • 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 FRE code of conduct guidelines; course syllabus and instructors; and UBC academic misconduct policies, Review the following web sites for details:

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 or examination with more serious consequences being applied if the matter is referred to the Dean’s office and/or President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. 

Course Schedule

Weeks 1/2/3/4/5/6 Introduction:
  • Scope of Financial Statement Analysis
  • Major Financial Statements

Financial Reporting Mechanics

  • Classification of Business Activities
  • Rules in Financial Statement Development: GAAP, financial reporting Standards & Estimation
  • Key terms in Financial Reporting & Statements
  • Accounting Equation
  • Accrual and Cash Reporting
  • Financial Reporting Quality

Financial Statement Development

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

Financial Analysis Techniques

  • Ratios
  • Graphing
  • Common Size Analysis
  • Cost–Volume–Profit & Breakeven Analysis/Operating Leverage

Best practices for Financial Analysis & Statements Development


Financial Management


Balance Sheet

Net Worth Statement

Net Income Statement: Accrued

Cash Flow Statement

Linking the Financial Statements of Changes in Owner Equity

Financial Analysis

MIDTERM October 28
Weeks 6/7/8/9 Frameworks
  • Market Research: Ideas, Databases, Assessment
  • Industry Analytics: STEEPLE, SWOT, Life Cycle, Porter Five Forces
  • Competitive Analysis: Porter: Five Forces, Competitive Matrix, Ansoff
  • Best practices for Conducting a Competitive Analysis.

Industry & Competitive Analysis



Weeks 9/10/11/


  • Legal structures available for agri-food firms: overview and trade-offs
  • Financing: Overview, options and trade-offs
  • Operating and Financial Leverage

Investment Analysis

  • Time Value of Money Concept and importance within the agri-food sector
  • Basic Investment analysis techniques: investment, loans, nominal and effective interest rates, perpetuity, bonds
  • Capital investment techniques: Internal rate of return, net present value, future value, profitability index, benefit-cost and payback period methods
  • Best practices framework for investment analysis

Business & Legal Structures


Investment Analysis


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