Monthly Archives: February 2013

Wilson accepted for the APLU National Food Systems Leadership Institute

Christine Wilson

Christine Wilson, assistant dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture and professor for the Department of Agricultural Economics, was accepted for the 2012-2014 Food Systems Leadership Institute, an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government.

The institute enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems. The institute experience prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs, and to assume broader leadership responsibilities within their organizations.

During the program, scholars work with expert instructors, leadership development coaches, and an upper-level mentor to help increase their leadership abilities. They meet with leaders of universities, political leaders, industry leaders and others who have advanced to the highest levels of leadership. Leadership theory is combined with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education.

The institute is a two-year program. Year one includes intensive executive education-style residential learning sessions at three university locations. Scholars perform assessments to increase their self-awareness of their leadership style, and the results are used to develop and implement a personal development plan, prepared with the assistance of a professional coach. Interactive distance learning is used between residential sessions.

During the second year, participants work, applying what they have learned, to develop and carry out an individual leadership project.

Article provided by K-State’s Communications and Marketing.


Kendal Clawson helps team advance to compete in Regional Americas Research Challenge in Toronto

Adding up to a win: Team wins Kansas City finance challenge, will compete at regionals in Toronto

Students from Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration won the Kansas City Chartered Financial Analyst Society’s 2013 CFA Institute Research Challenge and will advance to compete in the Regional Americas Research Challenge in Toronto in March.

Team members are C.J. Heinz, senior in accounting, Leawood; Jerrod Reddick, senior in accounting, Overland Park; Kendal Clawson, senior in finance and agricultural economics, Satanta; and Jonathon Mason, senior in finance, Wichita. Faculty adviser is Scott Hendrix, the College of Business Administration’s Gates Capital Management faculty fellow and an instructor of finance, and industry mentor is Lois Cox, director of investments for the Kansas State University Foundation.

Click here to read more about Clawson’s team achievements.

Agricultural Economics’ cowgirls earn their ranks at the 57th annual K-State Rodeo

Lindy Singular, junior in agricultural economics, earned the title of Miss Rodeo K-State.  Cally Thomas, senior in animal sciences and industry and agribusiness, tied for second place in barrel racing with a 12.78 second run.

Click here to read an article about the rodeo in the Collegian.

Click here to read results and find other information about the K-State Rodeo Club.

Newly-elected Ag Ambassadors includes 10 students from the Department of Agricultural Economics

Of the 29 newly-elected College of Agriculture Ambassadors, 10 are agribusiness or agricultural economics majors.

Bailey Boomhower, Junior in Agribusiness, Russell
Hillary Breene, Junior in Agribusiness, Greenwich, RI
Lucas Goddard, Freshman in Agricultural Economics, Penokee
Emily Harris, Freshman in Agribusiness, Abilene
Garrett Kays, Freshman in Agribusiness, Weir
Leah Kimzey, Freshman in Agricultural Economics, Fredonia
Shannon Maxwell, Freshman in Agricultural Economics, Whiting
Arrisa Moyer, Freshman in Agricultural Economics, Emporia
Taylor Peterson, Sophomore in Agricultural Economics, Salina
Ronnie Sullivan, Freshman in Agribusiness, Paola

Click here to see the full list of Ambassadors.

Agribusiness senior Devin Dicks truly goes the distance and knows about living life to the fullest

Devin Dicks

Devin Dicks going the distance with K-State Track and Field

February 22, 2013 – For some, the idea of living each day to its fullest is just a bumper sticker or just something cute to say.

For Devin Dick, it’s a real way of life.

The Kansas State senior knows all too well what it really means to live each day to its fullest. He’s lived it and truly believes in that idea because it wasn’t long ago the Hutchinson native was unsure how many days he actually had left.

Dick’s road to Manhattan and atop the Big 12 indoor heptathlon standings didn’t come easy. He started his career at Wichita State where he redshirted his first year on campus. That’s when everything changed.

Figuring his body was just responding to a more arduous workout routine, Dick thought little of the vomiting and nausea he began to experience toward the end of his second semester.

‘I blamed the sickness on the training because it was so different than what I had been used to before, training for the heptathlon and decathlon,’ said Dick, who is in Ames, Iowa, this weekend for the Big 12 Indoor Championships. ‘I was training five hours a day, plus lifting. I thought the sickness was just me pushing my body to its limits.’ He was wrong.

When it became clear the medication wasn’t working, Dick sought out more definite answers, starting with an ultrasound of his pelvic region. Within an hour, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound combined-events athlete was scheduled for an appointment the next morning with a specialist.

Something was clearly wrong.

‘They said not to worry, but ‘We think this could be cancerous,’’ Dick said. ‘Not to worry, right? I’m only 19. That was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do — calling my parents and telling them I might have cancer.’ That next morning it was confirmed. Dick had testicular cancer. That night, he had surgery.

Click here to read more about this incredible student.

Article written by Joshua Kinder ( at The Mercury. Picture provided by K-State Sports Information.

Agricultural Economics Graduate Dana Peterson earns honor as K-State Alumni Fellow

Dana Peterson

Dana Peterson

Dana Peterson is being recognized as the K-State Alumni Fellow for Agriculture for 2013. Dana will be on campus on Thursday, February 21, 2013 to receive recognition for her award and to visit with students and faculty about her experiences.

In her most recent position, Dana was the National Association of Wheat Growers’ chief executive officer.  In this position, Dana was responsible for implementing policy created by the NAWG Board of Directors and directing advocacy before Congress and federal agencies on topics ranging from federal farm policy to environmental regulation, biotechnology, and transportation.

In addition to these educational responsibilities, Dana was also responsible for all managerial aspects of the association and its affiliated nonprofit foundation and political action committee.

Prior to her position at the NAWG, Peterson worked on policy and membership for Kansas Wheat and spent a short time on the staff of the Kansas Farm Bureau working on environmental programs.

She is a double graduate of Kansas State University, having obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics.

Peterson was raised on a wheat farm near Smith Center, Kan., where her brothers now produce primarily wheat, grain sorghum and cattle. Outside of her professional activities, Peterson is active in her church, family and community.

Since 1983, K-State’s Alumni Fellows Program has brought successful alumni back to campus to meet with students and faculty and share their expertise in the classroom and at informal settings.

Fellows are chosen by each college to return as distinguished guests and as mentors, friends and counselors. They are honored in recognition of the ultimate measure of a university – not curricula, facilities or programs, but the quality of its alumni.

To view all of this year’s Alumni Fellows, click here. To see a list of past Alumni Fellows, click here.

Agricultural economics students nominated for Truman Scholarships

Of the four Truman Scholars nominated by Kansas State University, two are from the agricultural economics department. Kassie Curran is a senior earning her degree in food science and industry along with a minor in agricultural economics. Hillary Breene is a junior majoring in agribusiness.

Curran has served as president and career fair coordinator for the College of Agriculture Ambassadors, vice president of community outreach for Collegiate Farm Bureau, beef promotions director for Collegiate Cattlewomen and state vice president for Kansas FFA Association. In addition, Curran is involved in Agriculture Future of America, Frontier Program, the College of Agriculture scholars program and Gamma Sigma Delta agriculture honorary. Her honors, scholarships and awards include: American Royal Scholar, Institute of Food Technologists Scholarship, National Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship and Quest freshmen honorary. She is a recipient of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Career Development Grant, which funds her undergraduate research project. If awarded the Truman Scholarship, Curran would like to pursue a graduate degree in agricultural and resource economics. A 2009 graduate of Girard High School, she is the daughter of Joseph and Kim Curran, of Farlington.

Breene is a member of Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority. She has served as recording secretary for Block and Bridle and is a member of Alpha Zeta honor society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Agriculture Future of America. Her honors, scholarships and awards include: National FFA American Degree, Transfer Honors Scholarship, Ted Heath Memorial Scholarship, Gladwin A. Read Memorial Scholarship and National Dairy Herd Improvement Agency Scholarship. If awarded the Truman Scholarship, Breene would like to study agricultural policy and economics. A 2010 graduate of Exeter-West Greenwich Senior High School in West Greenwich, R.I., she is the daughter of Kevin and Erin Breene, of West Greenwich.

For more information about K-State’s nominees for Truman Scholarships, click here.

Recent Trends Push Kansas Farm Cooperative Equity Levels to Historic Highs

New Factsheet Outlines Evolution of Equity in Agricultural Coops

February 6, 2013 – With rising incomes, Kansas grain, oilseed and farm supply cooperatives have boosted their total equity levels – or levels of net worth – to historical highs.

Equity generation and composition are important topics for any cooperative, said Brian Briggeman, director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center (ACCC) at Kansas State University. Generating equity capital is critical because it can be used to finance growth through capital investments, absorb business losses, and help secure a loan, as well as be used for other business purposes.

Equity represents the members’ ownership interest in the total assets of the cooperative. Cooperative equity comes in two forms, allocated and unallocated, Briggeman explained. Allocated equity is the amount assigned, on a proportional basis, to each member.  Unallocated equity is not designated to specific member accounts.

The ACCC dives into this subject in a new fact sheet titled, “Equity Composition of Kansas Grain, Oilseed and Farm Supply Cooperatives,” that is available online at

While equity levels and composition vary from cooperative to cooperative, some general trends have developed throughout the industry, and Kansas is not that different, Briggeman said. The first trend is higher equity levels for co-ops. Since 2003, Kansas co-ops’ total equity, along with total savings or total net income, has risen significantly.

Another trend is the rise in the percentage of total equity designated as unallocated equity or permanent equity capital on Kansas co-op’s balance sheets. One question that often arises is, what is the appropriate amount of unallocated equity within a cooperative? Answering this question is difficult because there is no one correct answer that fits all cooperatives, Briggeman said. However, the new fact sheet provides discussion points for a cooperative’s board of directors and management team to consider on this topic.

More information is available by contacting Briggeman at or 785-532-2573.

Announcement of the Agricultural Economics Outstanding M.S. Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation for 2012

The 2012 Outstanding M.S. Thesis of the Department of Agricultural Economics was earned by Brady Brewer. Brewer’s thesis advisors were Allen Featherstone and Christine Wilson. The title of his thesis is “Determinants of Lender Choice and Banking Strategy for Kansas Farmers.”

The 2012 Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation of the Department of Agricultural Economics was earned by Alexi Thompson. His dissertation advisor was Jeff Peterson. The title of his thesis is “Three Essays on the Environmental Kuznets Curve for Water Pollution.”

The department is proud to announce these accomplishments of our outstanding students and faculty. For more information about the Department of Agricultural Economics’ graduate student opportunities and accomplishments, click here.

Brian Briggeman helps students preserve a slice of rural life: Student interns teaming up to chronicle Kansas co-ops

February 1, 2013 – A grant to two Kansas State University professors will put student interns to work compiling a database on agricultural cooperatives in Kansas.

Brian Briggeman, associate professor of agricultural economics and director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center, and Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, associate professor of history and director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, received a $24,500 grant from the CHS Foundation for the project “Chronicling Cooperatives in Kansas.” The grant, facilitated by the Kansas State University Foundation, provides support for two undergraduate interns — one from the College of Agriculture and one from the College of Arts and Sciences — to develop a comprehensive database of resources related to the history of agricultural cooperatives in the state of Kansas.

Additionally, interns will conduct several videotaped interviews with key members of the cooperative community throughout the state. Each interns receives $6,000 and travel expenses during the grant period from April 1-Dec. 1.

The idea of creating a centralized database started with Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union. The organization hired an intern in summer 2012 to start the process of cataloging the materials related to the history of cooperatives in Kansas that are in the K-State Libraries’ special collections.

The effort inspired a more ambitious task, that of cataloguing the on-site records and collections of large and small cooperatives throughout the state. Briggeman knew that this was just the kind of project that would appeal to CHS, the largest agricultural cooperative in the U.S. CHS has deep ties to the state and a record of previous donations to Kansas State University.

The partnership between Briggeman and Lynn-Sherow was a natural for them both.

“Brian knows the cooperative community in Kansas inside and out,” Lynn-Sherow said. “He has all the contacts to make this a successful effort.”

Briggeman knew where to go and who to talk to, but needed the help of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies to bring it all together in a searchable database.

“Bonnie’s track record in telling rural Kansas history is phenomenal. Working with her to chronicle Kansas cooperatives will take this project to heights otherwise unattainable,” Briggeman said.

Kris Boone, professor and head of the department of communications and agricultural education, consulted on the video component of the project. “We only just started doing video production in the Chapman Center, so we needed some guidance. We are fortunate K-State has all the expertise we need right here on campus,” Lynn-Sherow said.

Students interested in applying for an internship need to be enrolled in either the College of Agriculture or the College of Arts and Sciences. Competitive applicants will be familiar with rural communities, have a strong interest in Kansas history, demonstrated research skills and a high level of attention for detail. The deadline for applications is Friday, Feb. 22. For more information about how to apply, visit or

Click here to view this news release on the K-State Research and Extension news site.