Classroom Consulting for Wisconsin’s Agricultural, Environmental & Natural Resource Industries

Description:  Starting in February 2023, the Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics at UW-Madison will be offering Wisconsin’s agricultural, environmental, and natural resource industries an opportunity to engage with students on specialized consulting projects.

Selected industry partners will be given the chance to present a real-world problem, barrier, or strategic decision they are facing to a class of highly motivated seniors studying either Agricultural Business or Applied Economics. After the presentation, a group of students will spend the semester working together on the topic and will provide their recommendations to the industry partner through a written report and an in-person presentation in May 2023. Not only do industry partners receive free consulting services from the next generation’s workforce, they will also offer students an opportunity to engage and assist stakeholders with their real-world challenges.

Industry Partner Eligibility: Eligible industry partners include any individual, business, farm, organization, or association involved in the agricultural, environmental, or natural resource industries in Wisconsin.

Project Topic Eligibility: Project topics should be specifically relevant to the industry partner’s operation or organization, and should be feasible in nature to serve as a semester-long student project.

  • Eligible topics may include, but are not limited to: data analysis projects, financial feasibility analyses, marketing plans, environmental impact analyses, sustainability initiatives, etc.

Industry Partner Expectations:

  • Two in-person campus visits: One visit at the beginning of the semester in February 2023 to present the project topic, and one visit at the end of the semester in May 2023 for student presentations. A complimentary parking pass will be provided for each campus visit.
  • Contact Person: A designated contact person is expected to be available to intermittently communicate with student group members on potential inquiries, such as a follow-up clarification. These communications are expected to take place through email, over the phone, or as part of a virtual meeting.
  • Results & Recommendations: Industry partners should acknowledge that student group projects are not necessarily going to solve the problem, barrier , or strategic decision.  By applying, industry partners acknowledge that this process does not constitute a professional service, and that the resulting recommendations from these student projects do not constitute as legal advice.

Students: Participating students are currently enrolled in the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) at UW-Madison and are majoring in either Agricultural Business Management (ABM) or Agricultural & Applied Economics (AAE). This experience will take place during their Senior Capstone Experience course (AAE 500). For more information on the ABM and AAE majors, see below.

  • Agricultural Business Management (ABM) students apply economics, finance, management and marketing to agriculture and related industries. The major gives students an economics-based understanding of how businesses make decisions and minimize risk as well as skills to help run a business. Graduates go on to careers in management, business analysis, marketing, commodities trading, sales, consulting, banking and finance. Employers include agribusiness firms, food companies, tech companies, cooperatives, government agencies and financial institutions.
  • Agricultural & Applied Economics (AAE) students learn how to use economic principles to assess real-world challenges related to environmental sustainability, energy, trade, poverty, economic development, food systems and biotechnology. Graduates find careers as environmental and agricultural economists, policy and business analysts, managers, consultants, researchers and auditors. Employers include nonprofits, government agencies, cooperatives, multinational firms, agribusiness companies, financial institutions and the food and retailing industries.

To Apply: Applications to participate as a 2023 Industry Partner are currently being accepted through January 1, 2023.  To complete an application, please click the following link

Classroom Consulting Application

During the application process you will be asked to:

  1. Provide basic administrative information on the assigned contact person and operation/organization.
  2. Provide a brief (2-4 paragraph) overview of the proposed project topic.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Applicants will be contacted if further discussion or clarification is needed, and notified upon acceptance on a first-come, first-served basis until the desired number of Industry Partners are met.

Questions? Contact Jeremy Beach at 608-262-9485 or