SEBA: Student Engaged Business Assessment 

StudentsThe Student-Engaged Business Assessment (SEBA) program provides OSU students with an innovative and creative link to the world of agricultural business in the Pacific Northwest. The students are integrated with real‐time situations as they conduct and collaborate on economic and financial analyses for owners of agribusinesses. SEBA is the recent development of the faculty in the Applied Economics Department.

How does this work?

Clients have an agreement with OSU for SEBA students to develop an analysis that provides an assessment of the economic and financial impacts of future business pathways and directions. SEBA students validate base information provided by the client, develop the appropriate budgets to integrate with the decision tool AgBiz LogicTM, or develop spreadsheets and mentor clients on how to utilize and modify input to reflect their changing operations.

Students provide detailed information on the likely impacts that possible changes could have on a client's business operations. The analysis does not include any  specific recommendations or business advice but rather serves as a platform for comparing across alternative business strategies and investments.

Why is it unique and transformative?

  1. Learning is integrative, and outside of a classroom setting. The learning flows in two directions: Students provide insights to clients on outcomes of alternative management and market strategies, and clients provide students with real-time business scenarios and context.
  2. It cultivates partnerships with a purpose. Clients provide economic and financial information to the students regarding their business practices and operations and participate in a site visit or internet meeting with the students and faculty to discuss the project and gather relevant information.
  3. It allows the business assessment to be fine-tuned to the clients future plans. Clients select possible changes to their business strategies for students to analyze and are then provided with a report and software files that reflect the unique aspects of their operations for later modifications by the client.

Current and Past Projects

Whole farm financial analysis to develop a succession plan or a strategic orchard renewal plan.

Establishing price points and market strategies for a new agricultural product.

Establishing equitable leases for cash rent annual payment, crop share, flexible case rent based on yield and price variations, or a 35-year cash rent with a share of the crop.

Industry cost of production budgets for cow-calf operations in southern Oregon,fresh and processed potatoes in southern Oregon, and strawberries in the Willamette Valley.

Conduct capital investment analyses to purchase new equipment and technologies, and compare crops, crop rotations, and production systems.

"Our main goal is to have a equitable arrangement that makes both us, and our landlord happy, and assured of a reasonable return on the investment.  The spreadsheets done by Aaron [SEBA Student] were tons of help in informing both ours and our landlords decisions, he even ran some different projects for us after the original documents that answered some 'what if?' questions that came up.   This has contributed to a very open and transparent discussion, something I believe is critical when talking a 25-35 year deal."


-Oregon Grower Craig Clark

"We wanted to evaluate our current Lease agreement against the new orchard model based on a whole farm analysis to see if we still had an equitable agreement. To provide a robust and unbiased evaluation we entered into a SEBA agreement. Tyler, our SEBA contact, took our raw data and generated a comprehensive evaluation. Thankfully this showed the current lease terms to be reasonably equitable."

-Oregon Grower Dave Cooper

“I want to thank the students for all they did for me regarding the development of a long range agriculture plan for Fire Wagon Ranch in Dufur, Oregon.  I found all the students to be both extremely dedicated and knowledgeable in all agricultural practices and farm economics. Because of the students' guidance Fire Wagon Ranch can't help but grow and prosper in the future.”

-Oregon Landowner Phil Petersen

For More Information...

Clark Seavert