31 May 2017
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Father Agribusiness

For Ray Goldberg, inventing a word was just the beginning

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Photo by Stuart Cahill

In the late 1950s, an HBS lecturer named Ray Goldberg noticed something: traditional farming and the wider world of business were beginning to intersect with greater and greater frequency. Intrigued, he came up with a name for what he would spend the next 60 years studying: agribusiness.

“People often misuse ‘agribusiness’ to mean big business,” Goldberg told Australia’s Weekly Times. “Or they think it’s just about making a profit. But it covers all aspects of the food system.”

Goldberg, at 90 now an HBS professor emeritus, is currently completing his latest book, Food Citizenship. Agribusiness, he explains, “..[i]s not just agriculture and business, it’s people from the medical school and government and the school for public health all working together.” For Goldberg, observing those connections in the context of the food system have made a life’s work.

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