AREC 408 - Agricultural Finance

  • 3 credits
  • Online

This course is excellent preparation for those interested in the financial analysis, risk management and investment decision aspects of running a farm, ranch or agribusiness operation. It is also a great opportunity for those interested to learn about key trends, institutions and financial issues facing the ag and food sector.

In this course, students will:

  • Become better acquainted with the current financial position of US agribusiness, farms and ranches.
  • Explore how a firm’s financial information are indicators of performance, and explore the role that debt financing plays in a firm’s growth and solvency.
  • Confront investment issues by understanding opportunity costs, tax implications and decision rules in capital budgeting.
  • Characterize financial risk in a firm, and understand how to use various strategies to mitigate risk (diversification, capital structure and informed decision making).

After completing the course, students should feel confident in discussing financial performance and analysis issues in the context of a firm's business strategy and the broader market conditions. In addition, students will have the tools to analyze more complex managerial decisions they might face as a manager.

This course has print-based exams that require a proctor. Exams may be taken at the University Testing Center at Colorado State University, or at an accredited College or University Testing Center in your area. To request to take your exam at an accredited testing site in your area, please submit a Proctor Identification Form at least two weeks prior to the first exam in the course.


AREC 305 (Agricultural and Resource Enterprise Analysis).

Important Information

This course requires the majority of the homework to be completed in Excel.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Financial Management in Agriculture, 7th Ed. (2012)
    Barry, P.J. and Ellinger, P.N.