UC Davis Graduate School of Management Makes History Launching First Global CEO Entrepreneur Agribusiness Symposium in China

From November 1 to 3, 2013, the Global CEO Entrepreneur Agribusiness Symposium Program was launched in Shanghai. Hosted by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and the CHIC Knowledge Center of Excellence (CKCE), the event was attended by over 80 food and agribusiness entrepreneurs.

Participants included CEOs and senior executives of major companies, including Joyvio of Legend Holdings, Xinjiang Qinghe Group, Inner Mongolia Dairy United, Beijing Organic and Beyond Corporation (OABC), FMC Group, Dupont Pioneer and Ecom Group. In addition, Mr. Liu Xia, the vice mayor of Wuxi City, sponsored 28 agribusiness entrepreneurs across Wuxi Province to attend this groundbreaking program.

The event brought together agribusiness professionals and experts from the United States and China, including Mr. Charles Sweat, the President and CEO of Earthbound Farm, Mr. Colin Carter, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis, Mr. Tony Zhang, CEO of Tony’s Organic Farm, Mr. Keith Shneller, the Director of USDA, Mr. Brady Sidwell, the VP of Corporate Development and Strategy for the OSI Group, and Mr. Edward Zhu, the CEO of the CHIC Group.

These presenters delivered valuable insights about agribusiness challenges, exploring issues related to the scaling up of business, financing and mechanization, identifying strategies to overcome hiring and retaining talented employees, discovering best practices in food safety and learning practical ways to negotiate challenges.

The symposium generated a positive response from fully engaged participants:

“The agribusiness program from UC Davis is innovative,” said Mr. Francisco Villazon, Asia-Pacific Managing Director of Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd. “These outstanding case studies taught me about advanced agricultural management. I am deeply inspired.”

This symposium, which combined practical informational and exercises with theory, has both micro and macro implications for agriculture and was a great opportunity to present international standards. 

The program included several opportunities for participant interaction where each participant formulated a “growth plan” to implement the examples provided by the experts in his or her own real business work. A customized tool specifically for the agribusiness industry was developed by UC Davis to help participants assess their agribusiness landscape. Finally, the participants refined their plan and created action items for immediate implementation.  In addition, participants also completed an assessment about their  entrepreneurial capabilities in driving growth in their businesses.

This first UC Davis CEO Global Agribusiness Symposium about Growing and Scaling Your Business was highly successful. UC Davis will be hosting a second Symposium in 2014 and will be announcing details of a new Agribusiness Certificate Program.

For more information, please contact Wendy Beecham, Managing Director of Executive Education at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.