Graduate Students Win International Case Study Competition

A team of agricultural economics graduate students from the earned first place in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association’s case study competition in Frankfurt, Germany, in June.

The K-State team of Brady Brewer, David Boussios, Cooper Morris, Jessica Johnson and Jaeljattin Jean claimed  first place in the IFAMA graduate student case study competition and executive industry interviews. They were given four hours to analyze a business case and craft an executive summary of the problem and their proposed solution.

“It was all about being ready to knock any business case out of the park,” Morris said.

The team presented their analysis and answered questions during two rounds of judging, including one in front of an audience of hundreds of agribusiness professionals, policy makers, researchers and students from around the world.

The case study focused on Grameen Danone Foods, a Bangladesh dairy marketing yogurt. The company is a joint venture between a bank and a popular yogurt brand sold in the United States.

“The problem was that this joint venture wanted to meet a sales target and net income goal, yet they also wanted to be a social company,” Brewer said. “Our solution not only had to provide value to the parent company, but also to the poverty-stricken areas in Bangladesh.

“We focused on the sales goal, tightening the supply chain and distribution system, and increasing the per-cow productivity of the small farmers.”

“Our team studied case study methods, practiced public speaking, read books, learned about hot topics in agribusiness and argued relentlessly over business solutions,” Morris said. “We won because we worked harder than the competition.”

The team received support in the form of sponsorships from the following: CHS Inc., Koch Industries, Cargill, K-State Department of Agricultural Economics and K-State Graduate Student Council.

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