Monthly Archives: December 2014

Merry Christmas from the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics

091208campus059-1-(ZF-4967-34223-1-021)The Department of Agricultural Economics wishes you a very merry Christmas!!!


E-Newsletter from the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics

From the Desk of Allen Featherstone

Allen Featherstone July 2014The fall semester 2014 has certainly quickly passed. As we wrap up the fall semester, we want to bring you up to date on Departmental activities. First of all, we would like to thank the many faithful and dedicated alumni that provide scholarships to our undergraduate and graduate students. During the last year, the Department was able to provide in excess of $250,000 in scholarships to our well deserving students. As tuition continues to increase and as the number of undergraduate majors continues to increase, scholarships are certainly an important mechanism that many students use to further their education. The Departments appreciates your generosity.

During the fall semester, we were pleased to welcome Jorge Gattini back to campus to allow him to interact with our students. Jorge Gattini originally came to Kansas on a 4-H exchange program, came back to Kansas State University to receive his master’s in Agricultural Economics, and now serves as Minister of Agriculture in Paraguay. Mr. Gattini is responsible for formulating and executing agricultural policy for the country of Paraguay where agriculture ranges all the way from subsistence to precision agriculture that is competitive on the global scale.

Transition continues to occur as Dr. Arlo Biere and Dr. Joe Arata will retire at the end of the semester. They have both left a lasting legacy on the Department and will certainly be missed. We thank them for the many years of service to the State of Kansas in educating future generations of Agricultural leaders. We will be welcoming Dr. Elizabeth Yeager to the staff. She will be joining us from a faculty position at Purdue University and will teach in the undergraduate program in the areas of farm management, agricultural finance, and grain and livestock marketing.

I encourage you to examine a taste of the many other exciting developments in the Department. We would love to hear about your career and family developments and share them in upcoming issues of our quarterly E-Newsletter. Please email me at or Amanda Erichsen, our communication coordinator, at with information you would like to share with your fellow alumni.

Go Cats!
Dr. Allen Featherstone,
Department Head, Professor, Master of Agribusiness Program Director

View this E-Newsletter as a PDF or on the department website.  Headlines include:
Jorge Gattini, Paraguay’s Minister of Agriculture, delights K-State with campus visit
Introducing Ben Schwab
Summer Internship summary
2014 Scholarship recipients
New class of Risk Management Student Fellows
Lynes attends fifth Lindau Meeting
Andrew Barkley’s new book
Office of Local Government market approach to pollution reduction
MAB program and staff awarded honors
Farm Bill meetings led by Mykel Taylor and Art Barnaby
Upcoming events
Gifting opportunities

For more information about the Department or this e-newsletter, please contact Amanda Erichsen at 785.532.6994 or

Bill Golden on the lineup for February K-State Sorghum Production Schools

Sorghum producers are often faced with issues including weed and insect control, crop production practices, soil fertility, nutrient management, irrigation and risk management. It’s how the producer tends to the issues that often becomes the most important part.

Four one-day Sorghum Production Schools led by K-State will address these concerns with in-depth training to present producers with the best response. The schools are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Feb. 10: Garden City, Clarion Inn, 1911 E Kansas Ave
    Local Research and Extension office contacts:
    Andrea Burns, Ford County, 620-227-4542
    Barbara Addison, Finney County, 620-272-3670
  • Feb. 11: Oakley, Buffalo Bill Center, 3083 U.S. 83
    Local Research and Extension office contact:
    Julie Niehage, Golden Prairie District, Oakley, 785-671-3245
  • Feb. 12: Hutchinson, Hutchinson Community College, 1300 N Plum St
    Local Research and Extension office contact:
    Darren Busick, Reno County, 620-662-2371
  • Feb. 13: Ottawa, Neosho County Community College, 900 E Logan St
    Local Research and Extension office contact:
    Darren Hibdon, Frontier District, 785-229-3520

Registration for each school is at 8:30 a.m. The day kicks off at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 3:30 p.m. The Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission is sponsoring the session as well as providing complimentary lunch on each of the days.

There is no cost to attend, but participants are asked to pre-register by Feb. 4. Online registration is available at K-State Sorghum Schools ( ) or by emailing or calling the local K-State Research and Extension office nearest to the location participants plan to attend.

Check out the presentations from the 2014 series at:

For more information, contact: Ignacio Ciampitti, K-State Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist,,785-532-6940.



Declines Approaching for Farm Succession Conference Registration

Five conferences are planned in Kansas

We’ve heard of “century farms” – those that are recognized as continuously owned by a single family for 100 years or more. But the road to keeping a farm or ranch in one family through decades is not always a smooth one.

To help Kansas farmers and ranchers with the legal, emotional, and financial ins and outs of the succession process, K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services are partnering with other agencies to offer five “Planning for Farm & Ranch Succession” conferences around the state. The meetings are supported by a grant from the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Meeting dates and locations include:

  • Jan. 5 – Allen Community College – Iola;
  • Jan. 10 – Pratt Community College – Pratt;
  • Jan. 16 – Kansas Farm Bureau Plaza – Manhattan;
  • Jan. 17 – Flint Hills Technical College – Emporia; and
  • March 3 – K-State Agricultural Research Center – Hays.

More information and online registration is available at or by calling 1-800-432-8222. The cost at each location is $60 per person for the first family member to register, and $40 per person for all other family members.

Online registration closes one week prior to each conference date. Registration is still available by calling 1-800-432-8222; however, K-State Conference Services will be closed Dec. 24, 2014 – Jan. 2, 2015. Walk-in registrations are available, but space and meals may be limited for late registrants.

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

For more information:
Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services – 1-800-321-3276

Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services supports Kansas producers in resolving a variety of agricultural-related problems including: ag credit issues, farm foreclosures, USDA Farm program and Farm Loan Program decisions, USDA Rural Housing loan issues, USDA Risk Management issues, and USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service decisions. Information and guidance on any ag-related issue will be provided at no cost through our toll-free hotline, 1-800-321-3276 or visit our website at

Corey Fortin named K-State 2015 Distinguished Young Alumni

For the second year in a row, a graduate from the department of agricultural economics has been selected to receive the K-State Alumni Association Student Alumni Board’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Corey Fortin, a 2006 agribusiness graduate, is one of the new recipients of the award.

Fortin currently is a commissioned member of the U.S. Foreign Service with the United States Agency for International Development in Uganda. USAID is the lead government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient democratic societies to realize their potential.

Fortin’s position with USAID started him in Kenya as the Agricultural Development Officer, and now he resides in Kampala, Uganda. He describes a typical day of work as extremely variable, with many different tasks to complete. A majority of his time goes to devising and implementing agricultural development strategies in eastern Africa. Fortin enjoys the variability of his days because projects range from rural youth to improved seed varieties and task forces created to accomplish a specific US government priority.

Fortin’s journey to his current position was not an easy one. “I graduated with my master’s degree from the University of Arkansas during the 2008 economic downturn. I applied for over 75 jobs and had more than 10 interviews. It took me 11 months to find a job; but I found my dream job, so the wait was worth it. Thankfully, I was able to keep working as a research assistant for my major professor in Arkansas during the 11 months of job searching.”

While he was in college, Fortin was an active leader for the College of Agriculture. He was part of Student Senate, Agricultural Council, an Ag Ambassador, Collegiate 4-H and Alpha Zeta Honorary. He is a native of Oberlin, Kan.

Matt Wolters (’03) was a 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and also a graduate of the department.

Information about the alumni association’s distinguished young alumni program can be found here.

Original article source.

Michael Dicks to give agricultural economics seminar

Dr. Michael Dicks

Dr. Michael Dicks

Michael Dicks has an impressive track record that has provided him with helpful insights to share with the department of agricultural economics. He is presenting “Veterinary Economics: Current Situation and Future Outlook” on December 3, 2014, in the Marc. A. Johnson Conference Room located in Waters Hall 342. The lecture is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

Dicks is the director of the Veterinary Economics Division for the American Veterinary Medical Association. He has been in the position since January 2013. Dicks previously worked for 24 years at Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics. He was the Wes and Lou Watkins Endowed Chair in International Trade and Development most recently while there. He also served as director for both the Great Plains Agricultural Policy Center and the Center for International Trade and Development at OSU.

Also during the last few decades, Dicks assisted farm and commodity groups, environmental groups, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress in developing farm policy, as well as numerous foreign governments, U.S. government agencies and non-government organizations in international agricultural and community development activities.

His interests have also taken him abroad to many countries and continents.

Dicks earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and animal science at California Polytechnic State University on the San Luis Obispo campus in 1975. In 1982, he received his master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri, all while he was overseas in Tunisia working on a project converting waste to energy. Dicks was back at it again in 1985, when he earned a doctoral degree in agricultural economics with a specialty in natural resource policy and community development.

Dicks grew up in rural Orange County, California. He found his interest for agriculture through working in vegetable fields for Irvine Company and showing sheep and cattle for FFA and Ag Explorers.