The Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics has announced that it will present an award to someone who has made his mark in Manhattan and abroad.
Jorge Gattini, Minister of Agriculture in Paraguay, will receive the department’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award is given to an alumnus who has demonstrated significant professional achievement related to agricultural economics or agribusiness.
On Wednesday, Sept. 24 Gattini will give a lecture about “Agriculture, Agribusiness and Rural Development in Paraguay.” The lecture will be at 2:30 p.m. in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union.
Gattini will be honored at the department’s alumni and scholarship banquet on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Kansas Farm Bureau building in Manhattan, Kansas.
Gattini was sworn in to his position as the Paraguay Minister of Agriculture on Aug. 15, 2013 under President Horacio Cartes. He has held several positions mostly in the agriculture ministry’s marketing department under three agriculture ministers.
He earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics at K-State in 1998, and a master’s degree in applied economic environmental at the University of London, Imperial College.
Gattini came to Manhattan from Paraguay in a cultural exchange program with Kansas 4-H, staying for about a month during the early 1990s. The Kansas Paraguay Partners program was an international volunteer organization promoting people-to-people exchanges between Paraguayans and Kansans.
Allen Featherstone, department head and professor of agricultural economics, served as Gattini’s professor during his graduate school work and oversaw his master’s program, where he studied “The Agricultural Financial System in Paraguay.” The purpose of the project was to set up a financial system to allow farmers to get credit for purchasing inputs.
“I always knew Jorge would excel in his future just from the interactions that I had with him as a student,” Featherstone said. “We are honored that he is coming back to visit the department and to accept this award.”
Gattini will also give a guest lecture on the Manhattan campus.