Category Archives: Prospective Students

K-State’s College of Agriculture Celebrates Success and Looks Ahead to a Productive Future

Dean John Floros presented his second annual State of the College of Agriculture address March 25.
Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture aims to be a top-five agricultural college in the United States by 2025, and in collaboration with K-State Research and Extension, it intends to continue serving as a global destination for education, research and extension. Reaching this feat not only would benefit the university, but it would benefit the citizens of Kansas and beyond with immediate solutions to needs in agricultural production.

Agriculture is Kansas’ largest economic driver, as it contributes $53 billion to the Kansas economy and is the state’s largest employer, said John Floros, dean of the college and director of K-State Research and Extension.

In his third year as dean, Floros presented his second annual State of the College of Agriculture address March 25 on K-State’s Manhattan campus. He discussed celebrating successes that are getting the college closer to a top-five agricultural college, some of which include growth in the number of students, faculty and staff success, competitive funding, research expenditures, private fundraising, and the college’s national and international reputation.

On the heels of more cuts in state funding, the college has been able to counter these budget cuts and embrace change, Floros said. Aside from the amount of state funding available, all other numbers continue to go up, which is why he is optimistic that the college will continue to experience success in the future.

“K-State will remain here, but change will happen,” Floros said. “We will have to change, and if we are ahead of change and anticipate it, we are better off. Let’s anticipate budget cuts and figure out ways to counter those.”

Sean Fox Trading class

Students in Sean Fox’s class get a taste of the pit in his trading class!

Teaching and learning
K-State’s College of Agriculture has experienced steady growth in all student metrics. In 2014, the college had 2,780 undergraduate students—525 more than in 2010, which showed 2,255 undergraduates. The number of multicultural students in the college has doubled in the last five to six years, with a total of 291 in 2014. This means more than 10 percent of undergraduate students are multicultural.

Floros reported 695 undergraduate students call states other than Kansas home. These students represent 44 other states. Eighty-three undergraduates come from 19 other countries.

The college is nearly equal in the number of male and female undergraduates: males at 51 percent and females at 49 percent. Along with higher student enrollment, there has been an increase of 54 percent in scholarships provided in the last four years. Scholarships awarded in 2014-15 totaled $1.34 million.

Nearly all undergraduate students find jobs following graduation or pursue graduate degrees. The college has a 97 percent placement rate for students in jobs or a graduate education.

“It’s an exciting time to be a student in the College of Agriculture,” Floros said. “Every time I talk to our students that excitement comes through.”

Graduate students in the College of Agriculture are also on the rise. In 2014, there were 590 graduate students compared to 481 in 2010. Floros called this a huge success that helps the college meet its teaching, research and extension goals.

K-State’s Collegiate Crops Judging Team recently won its sixth straight national championship, and in fact, it has won 13 of the last 16 championships. In its first year competing, K-State’s Agronomy Forage Bowl Team won the national competition in 2015. Students are studying abroad in countries all over the world such as Argentina, Brazil, Ireland, France, India, South Africa, Spain and Japan.

Mykel Taylor 2015 Farm Bill meeting in Wichita

Mykel Taylor presents Farm Bill updates in February of 2015 in Wichita. The K-State Farm Bill Team reached more than 4,000 Kansans during 14 meetings held across the state!

Research and extension
The College of Agriculture, with K-State Research and Extension, have identified and are working toward solving five grand challenges for Kansas, which include global food systems, water, health, community vitality and developing tomorrow’s leaders. Other colleges at the university also are helping improve the livelihoods of Kansans in finding solutions to these challenges.

Floros recognized the college’s work across the state to help farmers make better management and farm policy decisions. Kansas State continues to develop the top wheat varieties used by Kansas’ farmers. A fungal genetics center that moved to K-State last fall will help the Department of Plant Pathology and wheat breeding programs continue to become more successful.

Plant Pathology is one of the several nationally ranked programs from K-State’s College of Agriculture. In fact, the Department of Plant Pathology is ranked No. 1 nationally. The agricultural economics program comes in at No. 4, interdepartmental food science at No. 9 and plant sciences at No. 10.

The animal science doctoral program for research productivity recently received a No. 5 national ranking, and the entomology doctoral program has been ranked No. 8. The Department of Grain Sciences and Industry at K-State is unique, Floros said, as there is no other department like it anywhere else.

Extramural awards for research in K-State’s College of Agriculture totaled $46.3 million in fiscal year 2014, which has increased steadily the last few years from $23.8 million in 2011. Floros said total K-State Research and Extension expenditures were at $142 million in 2014, an increase of 8 million from 2011 and 17 million from 2010.

Many faculty and students in the College of Agriculture are working with new programs funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. These four new Feed the Future Innovation Labs were funded in total by $102.2 million. The labs focus on research surrounding sorghum and millet, applied wheat genomics, postharvest loss reduction and sustainable intensification. Only Kansas State and the University of California-Davis have received four such new USAID labs.

Top K-State faculty members specializing in agricultural related areas continue to be recognized nationally and internationally with awards in teaching and research. Many are also selected to lead national organizations related to horticulture, weed science and entomology, as examples.

Private fundraising also was up in 2014 for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension at $14.5 million. This is more than triple the amount from 2009, which was $4.4 million. Increases in private fundraising will help meet the current and future costs for programs, research, new facilities and facility upgrades, and other needs of the college.

“The bottom line remains that we need new facilities,” Floros said. “We need new state-of-the-art labs, teaching facilities, extension facilities and distance education facilities. We have to push for this happening now. We need to prioritize our needs.”

A video of Floros’ full presentation can be found on the K-State Research and Extension Seminars website. Learn more about the College of Agriculture at and K-State Research and Extension at

Story by:Katie Allen / 785-532-1162 / K-State Research and Extension

For more information: John Floros, dean, K-State College of Agriculture – or 785-532-7137


Sharon Benz presented Animal Health Industry Insights at Master of Agribusiness Olathe session

Sharon Benz presented information at K-State animal health industry seminar

Significant changes on the horizon for the animal health industry are reflected in three new documents now available, according to Sharon Benz, director of the Division of Animal Feeds within the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

cattle on prairieBenz, who spoke Oct. 22 at the Animal Health Industry Insights seminar hosted by the Kansas State University’s Master of Agribusiness program, said the new documents will govern the use of antibiotics and will affect those working in the animal health and companion animal industry. They are (1) Guidance 209 Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food Producing Animals; (2) Guidance 213 Implementation Principles for Guidance 209; and (3) the Veterinary Feed Directive Proposed Regulations.

The seminar was held at the K-State Olathe campus.

“With the changing environment surrounding animal health, it is vital that we are knowledgeable and engaged with the agencies that provide guidance and oversight to our industry. Dr. Benz provided the opportunity for Master of Agribusiness students to become familiar with the influence that the FDA has on our business decisions,” said Justin Smith, MAB student and deputy animal health commissioner for the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Benz gave an overview of the CVM and its responsibilities, which she said works to ensure animal drugs are safe and effective before giving approval; monitors the safety and effectiveness of current animal drugs on the market; reviews animal and pet food for safety and labeling; ensures pet food additives are safe and have utility before approval; conducts research; and helps make more animal drugs legally available for minor species, such as fish and hamsters.

“Dr. Benz was very knowledgeable with an extensive background. Since canine nutrition is my passion, it was an extremely interesting presentation for me. I learned about FDA policies and procedures I did not know about and Dr. Benz was nice enough to answer questions afterward, said Melissa Vogt, MAB student and distance learning veterinary technology Instructor at Colby Community College.

“Dr. Benz brought a wealth of knowledge to the forum by providing insight regarding the changes that the animal health industry will be experiencing when the implementation of the judicious use of antibiotics guidance 209 and guidance 213 begin,” said David Yandell, MAB student and senior associate for regulatory, surveillance and compliance with Elanco Animal Health. “Dr. Benz highlighted the need for the judicious use of antibiotics in the industry and that the FDA-CVM, an agency dedicated to the health and safety of humans and animals, is helping to ensure they are available for use in the future.”

Benz is responsible for providing direction and oversight to the division, which monitors and sets standards for contaminants, approves food additives and oversees medicated feed and pet food programs. Prior to her appointment to director in 2004, she served as the team leader for the Nutrition and Labeling Team. In preparation for her work with the FDA, she was employed by the National Academy of Sciences Board on Agriculture as the program officer for the Nutrient Requirement series bulletins on animal nutrient requirements.

Benz earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech. Her training is in ruminant nutrition and mineral metabolism and requirements.

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness ( is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food, animal health and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food, animal health and agribusiness industry and are located in 40 states within the United States and in more than 30 countries.

Guidance 209
· Limit the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs to those uses considered necessary for assuring animal health
· Use includes veterinary involvement/consultation

Guidance 213
· Provides guidance for industry on the implementation of judicious use
· Process for updating labels to remove growth/production uses
· New therapeutic uses may be pursue

  •  Have a defined dosing duration
  • Effective therapeutic dose level
  • Be targeted as much as possible to the at-risk population
  • Include veterinary oversight

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)
· VFD is an order by a veterinarian that allows the feeding of approved VFD drugs to animals
· Medically necessary antimicrobial drugs will be converted from over-the-counter (OTC) to VFD drugs
· VFD regulations are being revised to improve the efficiency of the VFD process


CONTACT: Mary Bowen – 785.532.4435-

K-State Center for Risk Management Education and Research Announces Student Fellows

The Kansas State University Center for Risk Management Education and Research has announced its second class of student fellows.

The center seeks to enhance the understanding of economic risks inherent in our global society through world-class experiential education and research.

The 17 students selected for this class include:

  • Logan Britton, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Communications and Journalism – Bartlett, Kan.
  • Kurtis Clawson, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy – Satanta, Kan.
  • Kassie Curran, Food Science, Agricultural Economics – Farlington, Kan.
  • William Damme-Longinaker, Agricultural Economics – Randolph, Iowa
  • Joseph Dasenbrock, Economics, Psychology – Cimarron, Kan.
  • Ethan Dhuyvetter, Marketing – Manhattan, Kan.
  • Thomas Einck, Finance – Marion, S.D.
  • MaryLynn Griebel, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering – Stockton, Kan.
  • Jonathan Higgins, Finance, Accounting – Lenexa, Kan.
  • Shelby Hill, Agricultural Economics, Animal Science and Industry, and earning a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics – Satanta, Kan.
  • Gerald Mashange, Finance and Economics – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Mario Ortez, Agribusiness, and earning a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Nicaragua
  • Laura Rogers, bachelor’s in and earning a master’s degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering – Clyde, Kan.
  • Nathan Stinson, Agricultural Economics – Allen, Kan.
  • Jason Troendle, Agricultural Economics – St. Charles, Minn.
  • Lacey Ward, Agribusiness, and earning a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Superior, Neb.
  • Nicholas Wineinger, Agribusiness – Lincoln, Kan.

“We had a phenomenal slate of immensely talented and diverse applicants and the selection process was difficult,” said Ted Schroeder, director of the center and professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics.  “A lot of things happen with the center including guest lectures, industry visits, student research projects, and tremendous interest from industry leaders in this program. New contacts between industry and the center occur almost daily.”

By providing students and business professionals with the information and tools necessary to identify, quantify and manage risk, the center complements K-State’s strategic plan. Additionally, the center supports the greater university mission of advancing the well-being of the state of Kansas, the U.S. and the international community.

Story by: Amanda Erichsen
Communications Coordinator, Agricultural Economics

Ted Schroeder
Professor, Agricultural Economics
Director, Center for Risk Management Education and Research

Agricultural economics and other College of Agriculture programs rank in top 10 doctoral programs

A website that compares university programs across the United States has ranked several Kansas State University College of Agriculture programs in the Top 10 as compared with similar programs at peer institutions.

The rankings, at, use data from the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Education Statistics to provide information about quality measures or graduate programs. The rankings are based on university doctoral programs. In total, eight doctoral programs associated with K-State’s College of Agriculture were evaluated.

The council’s most recent Ranking of Plant Sciences Graduate Schools lists Kansas State University’s plant pathology program at No. 10 nationally among 162 plant sciences departments. K-State is the top ranked plant pathology doctoral program on the list, which puts it ahead of plant pathology programs at Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of California-Davis.

“These rankings, which include numerous renowned universities across the United States, are a testament to the incredible work being done across the college’s doctoral programs,” said John Floros, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. “It affirms that our students and faculty are among the best and brightest. We are in the process of finalizing our college strategic planning for the campuswide K-State 2025 process. These rankings provide at least one external benchmarking guide for us as we seek to become a top five college of agriculture by the year 2025. Clearly, we have some very strong programs.”

K-State’s agricultural economics program is ranked No. 4, ahead of similar departments at Purdue University and Cornell.

In addition, K-State’s entomology doctoral program is ranked No. 8 and the interdepartmental food science program No. 9, compared with other universities’ programs.

In the “Research Productivity category,” the university’s animal science doctoral program ranked No. 5 among animal and dairy science programs nationally.

Overall rankings are based on a variety of criteria including research productivity, student outcomes, student resources, diversity and a National Research Council quality measure.

One of the programs that was not included in the rankings was K-State’s department of grain sciences and industry, which is the only institution in the country that offers college degrees in all three areas of baking, feed and milling science and management.

“K-State’s grain science doctoral program provides the lion’s share of research scientists working on cereals, cereal processing, cereal chemistry and storage worldwide, and has done so for a long time,” said Jon Faubion, professor and graduate program director in the department. “Our concentration of faculty with this expertise provides all of our graduate students, including doctoral students, with a breadth of expertise and experience in these cereal grain areas that doesn’t exist elsewhere.”

“The National Research Council rankings reflect the quality of educational experience our doctoral students receive at K-State, as well as the quality of research conducted as those students are mentored through their respective degree programs in the college,” said Ernie Minton, associate director for research and technology transfer with K-State Research and Extension.

Graduate scholarly experience is one of the goals of K-State 2025, the university’s new strategic plan. K-State’s College of Agriculture has a graduate enrollment of more than 500 students, including students seeking both master’s and doctoral degrees. About a third of the graduate student enrollees are students seeking doctoral degrees. The college has about 200 faculty members and many of them have time dedicated to mentoring graduate students. More information is available at


Written by Mary Lou Peter, K-State Research and Extension news.



Agribusiness Offers Leadership Opportunities for Women

Women Encouraged to Be Creative, Think Like Entrepreneurs

April 16, 2013 – A Kansas State University agricultural economist is optimistic about agriculture, which, he claims, “is the only business that will not go out of business.”

He’s also enthusiastic about opportunities for women to fulfill leading roles in the success of agribusiness.


As a featured speaker at the 2013 edition of the “Women Managing the Farm Conference” held in Manhattan, Kan. recently, Vincent Amanor-Boadu challenged the more than 200 women attending the conference to be creative and think like entrepreneurs.

Amanor-Boadu, who has earned distinction as a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics in the College of Agriculture at K-State, sees opportunity for Kansans and agribusiness.

“In the U.S., in the last 60 to 70 years, agriculture has proven to be the most productive segment of the economy,” Amanor-Boadu said. “Input has remained virtually the same, yet production has more than doubled.”

He cited politics, technology (including improved seed, genetics and equipment), and globalization as primary factors in driving growth in agribusiness.

Amanor-Boadu expects continuing growth with new opportunities, and noted that “the consumer is changing, and demanding more from food producers.”

As global consumers enjoy increased economic success – with China moving towards achieving about $5,000 per capita income per year – they typically consume more protein, and that includes lean meats. Those who prefer whole grains consume more grains and are demanding higher quality grains, he said.

Kansas is positioned to capitalize on such trends, said Amanor-Boadu, who predicted that there will be more opportunities for women to lead agribusinesses.

More women than men are currently going to college; they’re learning about agribusiness, building leadership skills, and moving into leadership and management positions, he said.

More women also are choosing careers in agriculture, and they may work as food producers, farm and ranch managers, in crops, soils, plant, animal, food and nutritional sciences, horticulture, new product development, strategic planning, marketing, management, and other careers.

The need to satisfy preferences in a changing world, yet also serve the growing world population will bring opportunities, said Amanor-Boadu, who suggested that successful agribusiness professionals also will need to be open to new ideas.

“Opportunities for growth and development should be plentiful,” he said, adding that he encourages women to consider the larger global market, learn to identify emerging trends and glean ideas from others’ successes.

He cited innovative technology companies that have a track record of introducing new products and success in sales as a good source for inspiration and ideas that could be applicable in agribusiness.

Amanor-Boadu also encouraged women to take advantage of educational opportunities at K-State and in the College of Agriculture.

One example, he said, is the MAST Program in Agricultural Economics. MAST stands for management, analysis, and strategic thinking, via an executive level class that combines on-campus sessions with distance education. Participants are encouraged to apply such lessons in today’s world while also looking toward the future, and to build and practice leadership skills during the two-year program.

More information on the 2013-14 MAST program is available.

Women should also attend short courses and field days, as well as K-State’s annual Ag Profitability and Risk and Profit conferences to expand their knowledge about farm and land management and production, the agricultural economist said.

A calendar of educational opportunities through K-State Research and Extension is available.

The 2014 Women Managing the Farm Conference is scheduled Feb. 13-14 in Manhattan, Kan. Information about the conference will be posted as it becomes available.

Written by Nancy Peterson, K-State Research and Extension News

K-State Master of Agribusiness Program Now Available: Tailored for Animal Health Professionals

One-Week ‘On Campus’ Sessions to be at K-State Olathe

April 11, 2013 – Kansas State University’s award-winning Master of Agribusiness (MAB) distance degree program is now offering an MAB tailored to individuals working in the animal health industry.

The Master of Agribusiness combines a master of business administration and a master’s in agricultural economics with a focus on professionals working in the animal health and agribusiness industries. The one-week “on-campus” portions of the program will be held at K-State Olathe in August and October of each year.

“We are pleased to offer the Master of Agribusiness program at the K-State Olathe campus to those working in the animal health sector. The goal of the program is to take people who work in the industry and allow them to learn business and management skills from instructors who understand the animal health and vet medicine industry,” said Allen Featherstone, professor of agricultural economics and director of the MAB program. “Students in the program will learn from faculty with extensive experience in the animal health industry. They will benefit from the opportunity to research the industry more deeply, and will also benefit from the knowledge and experiences of their classmates who work in the global animal health industry including the companion animal segment, all while developing a network of contacts at the same time.”
The MAB program has been a leading provider of business and management skills for food and agriculture professionals since 1998 and is expanding to add a focus on the animal health industry. The program includes courses in finance, economics, risk management, management, marketing, strategy, policy and others with each course geared toward application to the animal health and agribusiness industries for maximum applicability.  

MAB alumnus Todd Marsh, who owns a multi-doctor large animal veterinary practice in Reserve, Mont., said the program enhanced his business management skills and his knowledge of the broader food system on both a national and international scale.

For most MAB students, the thesis is a company-related issue, so companies in the animal health industry benefit. In essence, while completing the thesis, the student is solving a problem for his or her employer. They both gain from the direct application of business and economic skills to everyday work situations.

Don Hecht, retired director of sales and marketing with Elanco Animal Health said he believes the company-related thesis sets the program apart from others: “Having worked in the animal health industry for over 25 years, I found that the K-State MAB offers some really unique professional growth opportunities for people in our industry. There is no other master’s program with the proven track record of students integrating their business and economic coursework into a professional thesis which is targeted to be of value to their own business or employer’s business issues.”

The MAB distance program allows students to continue working throughout the program. Coursework is covered in the first two years allowing the third year for completion of the thesis. The first two years, students study at the K-State Olathe campus for one week in August where they begin their courses. They return for a second week in October to take finals, interact with industry leaders, and give presentations. The rest of the year, coursework is fit around family and work responsibilities and is completed using content delivered through the Internet, DVDs, podcasts, email, and interactive recitation sessions.

Applications are now being accepted for the class starting in August. For more information on the K-State Master of Agribusiness Animal Health cohort, please contact Deborah Kohl at 785-532-4495, email or go to

Click here to read this article on the K-State Research and Extension news page.

K-State AgEcon MAB Program Featured in AgCareers Newsletter

Individuals who are seeking a professional degree program to enhance their skills and increase their earning potential while simultaneously maintaining their career and personal lives usually face two challenges:  time and money.  They ask questions like, “How do I fit a demanding professional degree program into my already busy schedule?  How do I afford it with the cost of education these days?”  For agribusiness professionals, K-State’s department of agricultural economics offers a solution:  the online Master of Agribusiness (MAB) Program.

Check out the article about how MAB students succeed with this convenient, online program utilizing tuition assistance from their employers.  Employer financial assistance is one of many ways to make this degree work for you.

Click here to read the article.

A K-State’s Master of Agribusiness is an award-winning, distance education graduate degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management.

Ag Management, Economics Grad Fellowships Offered

K-State Agricultural Economics will offer new graduate fellowships next year in agricultural management and economics with emphasis on resource economics and alternative energy.

The fellowships are funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) National Needs Graduate Fellowship Program.

Paid assistantships will be awarded to outstanding students entering the M.S. and Ph.D.  programs during Spring 2012 or Fall 2012.

These unique fellowships will prepare graduates to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams addressing the production of biofuels and other renewable energy from agricultural feedstocks and its interface with the environment and rural economy.

For more information contact Jeff Williams at Jeff Peterson, associate professor, Jason Bergtold, assistant professor, and Michael Langemeier, professor, all of agricultural economics, were also instrumental in obtaining funding.

National Needs Fellowship Program Available

The Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University is pleased to announce it has been selected by the USDA NIFA National Needs Graduate Fellowship Program to offer Fellowships in Agricultural Management and Economics with emphasis on Resource Economics and Alternative Energy.

The paid assistantships will be awarded to outstanding students entering the M.S. and Ph.D.  programs during Fall 2011 or Fall 2012. This unique Fellowship will prepare graduates to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams addressing the production of biofuels and other renewable energy from agricultural feedstocks and its interface with the environment and rural economy. The funding for this program is provide by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

For further information contact Jeff Williams at or John Crespi at

M.S. Brochure

Ph.D. Brochure