ONEONTA – The state agriculture commissioner, Richard Ball of Schoharie, will speak with students in Hartwick College’s Entrepreneurship class this coming Friday.
Ball was invited by Lecturer in Business Scott Schwartz, after the two met recently at Schoharie County Family Farm Day. Ball is not only the state’s agriculture commissioner, but also a farmer and businessman.
“Commissioner Ball’s visit is perfectly timed to emphasize how our campus theme, Food and Community, overlaps with our business classroom lessons on sustainable business practices. We appreciate his generous sharing of his time and expertise,” said Penny Wightman, Hartwick’s Business Administration & Accounting Department chair.
Ball has held a number of positions within agriculture, community, and business organizations at the local, state and national level, from the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce to the American Farm Bureau.
His background is ideal to address a class of budding entrepreneurs. Students in the Entrepreneurship class learn the processes and skills needed to create a business, from taking and assessing a business idea to developing a business plan. The importance of innovation, market research and planning, product and service concepts, finance, accounting, marketing, and management are some of the key business areas Schwartz teaches in the class.
“I was initially more interested in the fact Mr. Ball wrote a 50-page business plan for his farm and retail store,” Schwartz said. “I didn’t even realize he was the state’s agricultural commissioner until later that day.”