Bob Burton presenting “Last Lecture” TODAY at 4:00 in K-State Union

More Than 5,000 Students Later, K-State’s Burton to Give One ‘Last Lecture’

From “Production Economics” to “Rural Banking,” for 30 years Bob Burton has helped shape students’ understanding of economic theory and more. The Kansas State University agricultural economics professor will give one last lecture on Tuesday, Aug. 26 and this time the public is invited.

Robert BurtonBurton will speak about the reflections of his career in the Cottonwood Room of the K-State Union at 4 p.m. CDT. Refreshments will be served. He retired on July 5.

The lecture is one of several planned this fall as part of a “Last Lecture” series in which several K-State Department of Agricultural Economics faculty members will give one last lecture for the campus community and the public shortly after retiring.

Burton taught numerous courses since coming to K-State in 1984 as an assistant professor. He became professor in 1999.

He is credited with being instrumental in the department’s distance education movement through his undergraduate “Farm and Ranch Management” course. He also taught “Farm Resource Acquisition and Finance,” “Farm Management Strategies,” “Advanced Farm Economics,” and “Computer Applications in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.”

Through those courses and his earlier work at West Virginia University, Burton taught more than 5,000 students.

Burton said he particularly enjoyed teaching “Production Economics” because it taught students to understand economic theory, which was useful in whatever careers they chose.

His research often focused on risk and return in whole-farm or ranch management and most recently, on farm land ownership as a retirement strategy and agricultural health and safety.

Burton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1969 and 1977, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics at Purdue University in 1982.

Before coming to K-State, he was an assistant professor at West Virginia University and also served in the U.S. Navy for four years.

Some of his honors included the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Teaching Award, 2008; Recognized by Mortar Board Senior Honor Society of Kansas State University for “Outstanding commitment to students of Kansas State University” 2007; and the Western Agricultural Economics Association, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching with More Than 10 Years of Experience, 2003.

More information about Burton’s Aug. 26 lecture or any in the “Last Lecture” series is available by contacting Judy Maberry at or 785-532-4493.

Story by: Mary Lou Peter, K-State Research and Extension


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