STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences doesn't follow trends in entrepreneurial education for undergraduates in agriculture and life sciences- it sets them. As home to the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, Iowa State was the first university in the nation to have such a program fostering agricultural business development among students. "Entrepreneurship is the fastest growing segment of higher education," says Kevin Kimle, director of the initiative and Bruce Rastetter Chair in Agricultural Entrepreneurship. "Donor, administration and faculty support is really important, but the growth in entrepreneurship education at universities like Iowa State is ultimately driven by the interest of the students." The initiative was established in 2005, by a $1.6 million gift from Roger ('80 agricultural business) and Connie Underwood, of the Ames-based company Becker Underwood. "Iowa State's entrepreneurship classes can help show the curious student if he or she is an entrepreneur that should strike out their own, or an entrepreneur that should work inside someone else's organization," says Roger Underwood. "Both types of entrepreneurs can deliver fresh value by thinking smarter, acting faster and out inventing or out maneuvering others." (He shares more thoughts on entrepreneurship in a Q&A session on page 18.)