Tag Archives: k-state

Risk Management – Assessing and Controlling Risk in Your Farm, Ranch or Agribusiness Starts with an Educational Foundation

As the external factors impacting today’s production and agribusiness operations continue to evolve, it is more important than ever to have a strong risk management strategy in place to combat threats and take advantage of opportunities.

“Risk is an inherent factor in many aspects of production and agribusiness operations, whether you’re talking external influences on crop yield; financial planning;  or purchasing  versus leasing decisions,” said Mykel Taylor, assistant professor and director of the Management, Analysis and Strategic Thinking program in the department of agricultural economics at Kansas State University.  “Understanding the specific risks that could impact your operation is crucial, but developing a plan to control and combat risks is even more crucial.”

Developing an effective risk management strategy starts by not only identifying the risks affecting the business operation but also understanding them, which can be overwhelming since risk spans across so many disciplines.  However, comprehensive educational opportunities do exist that are specifically designed for agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals.

The Management, Analysis and Strategic Thinking (MAST) program, led by Taylor and the K-State department of agricultural economics, is an interactive learning program designed to provide participants with the tools they need to sharpen their management skills, decision making abilities and strategic planning tactics for direct application to their farm, ranch or agribusiness – all built on a convenient hybrid educational model.

“MAST is comprised of two on-campus workshops, one in November and one in February, that serve as book-ends to computer-based learning modules that participants complete at their own pace in the convenience of their own homes,” said Taylor.  “In addition to a module specifically dedicated to the topic of risk management, the curriculum dives into land ownership and leasing; machinery ownership and leasing; human resource management; tax and policy management; financial analysis; marketing; and more, ensuring participants are prepared to handle risk across the various facets of their operation.”

The depth of education offered by MAST in these topics is then tied into strategy development, which helps participants prepare their risk management and business plans.

“MAST will give you the tools you need to develop an effective business plan – a plan that will provide a roadmap for decision making through an objective, economic lens rooted in your intentions and goals for your farm, ranch or agribusiness,” Taylor said.  “Whether you want to grow in size or scope, participate in a related venture, prepare to turn your operation over to a new generation, or simply maintain your operation in the midst economic fluctuation and volatile commodity markets – the strategic planning skills covered in the MAST program will serve you in making the best decisions possible for your future.”

The MAST program is facilitated by industry-renowned agricultural economists including Art Barnaby, Allen Featherstone and Glynn Tonsor, in addition to many other top faculty from the K-State department of agricultural economics and departments from other top schools in the country.  Participants gain not only educational benefits from the program but also the opportunity to network with these respected academic leaders, as well as with other participants from around the agricultural community.

Registration is currently open for the 2012-2013 MAST program, kicking off on the K-State campus in Manhattan November 13-14, 2012.  Participants should register no later than November 2, 2012.  For more information and to register, visit www.AgManager.info/MAST2012 or call 785-532-6702 to speak with the program coordinator.

Developing a risk management strategy is not something to put off, and MAST provides the education needed to initiate or update risk management strategies for any farm, ranch or agribusiness, regardless of size, scope or ultimate goal.


Two K-State Ag Econ Professors Awarded Research Grant in Collaborative Study

Jason Bergtold and Tian Xia, associate professors of agricultural economics, are serving as co-principal investigators alongside principal investigator Marcellus Caldas, assistant professor of geography, in a new study that has been awarded a $525,000 collaborative grant with the University of Kansas from the National Science Foundation’s Geography and Spatial Science Program.

The project will study the impact of land-use and land-cover change in the Brazilian Savannah, or Cerrado – the second largest biome in Brazil.  The study aims to enhance the understanding on how market demand, supply and government policy have affected the behavior of both the ethanol industry and the farmers who are providing an increasing supply of sugarcane via land conversion in Brazil. Researches will also seek to understand the extent existing agricultural cropland, pasture or native vegetation is being converted to sugarcane.

See the full story at http://www.k-state.edu/today/announcement.php?id=4403&category=news&referredBy=email

Source:  K-State Division of Communications & Marketing

New Research Highlight Video Addresses Watershed Plan

We’ve launched a new research highlight on the K-State Ag Econ YouTube Channel!

Josh Roe and Robert Wilson discuss the keys to success in developing the Tuttle Creek Watershed Plan, which was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency this fall as one of the nation’s best. The plan was developed by staff from the Office of Local Government in K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

The plan addresses watershed issues for the Lower Big Blue and Lower Little Blue Rivers, a transboundary watershed in northern Kansas and southern Nebraska. The watershed drains into Tuttle Creek Lake, a flood control reservoir near Manhattan, Kan. The lake is impaired by phosphorus, total suspended solids and atrazine.

In their August 2011 report, the EPA commended the plan, stating, “Overall, the Lower Big Blue/Lower Little Blue River plan was one of the best reviewed, and it provides an excellent example of how to develop and write a watershed based plan.”

Featherstone Receives APLU Regional Teaching Award

Allen Featherstone, professor of agricultural economics, received one of five regional teaching awards from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The award was presented during the Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Awards Program on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Since joining K-State Agricultural Economics in 1986, Featherstone has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes. His courses include an experiential course in conjunction with Frontier Farm Credit where the class serves as a board of directors. In addition, he teaches Comparative Food and Agriculture Systems with eight international professors to educate students on the global dimensions of agriculture. In 1998, he guided the development of K-State’s award-winning Master in Agribusiness (MAB) degree, a distance-education program for individuals whose career and family status do not allow access to a traditional on-campus degree program.

Featherstone’s research program as resulted in more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. As a leading agriculture finance scholar, he has assisted the industry on mergers, loan loss severity, the influence of taxes on farm land and alternative federal tax systems.

Featherstone has been recognized as a leader at the university, regional, national and international levels. He has received numerous awards for his efforts in undergraduate and graduate teaching, including the American Agricultural Economics Association’s Distinguished Graduate Teacher. He also was honored with several prestigious distance education awards for his efforts in administering and teaching in the MAB program.

Featherstone earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.

Other recipients of the APLU Regional Teaching Award are as follows: C. Lee Burras, professor of agronomy and geology at Iowa State University; Dale A. Coleman, associate professor of animal sciences at Auburn University; Ashim K. Datta, professor of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University; and Richard W. Hartel, professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Flinchbaugh Receives American Agri-Women Veritas Award

Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh received the American Agri-Women’s highest honor, the Veritas Award, on Nov. 10 during the organization’s convention in Wichita, Kan. Flinchbaugh is a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University.

The Veritas Award is given to individuals who have been public witness to the “pursuit of truth” in accordance with the principles expressed in the AAW statement of philosophy. Of specific interest are personalities of importance to agriculture, or responsible media coverage of agricultural issues and events.

Past Veritas recipients include Paul Harvey, Michael DeBakey, Julia Child, Dr. C. Everett Koop, and John Stossel, to name a few.

Alumnus Earns AAEA Policy Analysis Award

Craig Jagger is the 2011 recipient of the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis given by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). Jagger is a 1982 graduate of the K-State agricultural economics master’s degree program.

The prize “recognizes outstanding impact on agricultural and related policy, based on sound foundations in economic theory.” Craig is in his twenty-sixth year as an agricultural economist in Washington, DC and his eleventh year as an economist with the House Committee on Agriculture.

Jagger has also has worked for the Congressional Budget Office, USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and USDA’s Economic Research Service.  In July, Craig was featured in AAEA’s Member Profile Series.

2 Ag Econ students part of K-State’s Family of the Year

Editor’s note: Whitney Coen is a 2006 graduate in agricultural economics. Todd Coen is a sophomore in agricultural economics.

A family with three generations of Wildcats is Kansas State University’s 2011 Family of the Year.

The Coen family, whose members live in communities across Kansas, was selected for the honor by Chimes, K-State’s junior honorary. The family will be recognized in the second quarter of the K-State football game Saturday, Sept. 17, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium as part of K-State’s Family Day activities. Along with receiving a plaque, the family will be guests at a brunch with Chimes members and prestigious university guests.

The Coens can boast of more than 20 family members who are currently K-State students or are K-State alumni, with future Wildcats waiting in the wings.

“Our minds have been molded by Kansas State University’s education and our hearts are full of support for K-State. It’s something that has been a family effort and one that we take very seriously,” said Chelsy Coen, a K-State student from Ottawa.

According to family member Kari Coen, Coens who are K-Staters include grandparents Marion and Peggy Coen, Ottawa, and their children and children’s spouses: Jim and Ann Coen, Andover; JoLynn and Carl Gasper, Horton; Janet and Glen McMurray, Hutchinson; and John and Cherry Coen, Ottawa.

Grandchildren include Whitney Coen, Jessica Coen, Chelsy Coen, Todd Coen, Kris and Path Smith, Kelsey Coen and her fiance Derek Low, Kari Coen, Katie McMurray, Matt McMurray, Ben Gasper, Paige Gasper and Sam Gasper.

“All of us either attended K-State, are currently there or are planning to attend,” Kari Coen said.

The Coen family has made many contributions to K-State, including a scholarship in civil engineering, Ahearn Fund contributions, a membership to the K-State athletics director’s National Leadership Circle and more.

Public Presentation to Feature Distinguished Alumna’s Work With Maryknoll Sisters in Africa

Sister Mary Frances Kobets, one of the first female graduates in K-State agricultural economics, is shown with children in Zimbabwe, where she helps improve health, nutrition and educational opportunities.

Sister Mary Frances Kobets will share experiences from her 40-year career improving health, nutrition and educational opportunities with the Maryknoll Sisters in Africa at a public presentation at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7, in the Kansas State University Student Union Little Theatre.

Kobets is being honored as the 2011 Distinguished Alumna for the Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics.

“Sister Fran has combined her knowledge of agriculture with her calling to help people,” said David Lambert, department head for K-State agricultural economics. “She is one of the many K-State graduates who have made a positive impact on people’s lives.”

In 1969, Kobets became one of the first two women to graduate from K-State’s Department of Agricultural Economics. She continued her studies at K-State, earning a master’s degree in animal science in 1980 prior to her African work.

For the past 10 years, she has worked in Zimbabwe in Career Development Education Support, helping children orphaned by AIDS victims get an education, acquire life skills and learn to care for their extended families.

“Please join us as Sister Fran shares her experiences of applying the skills she learned at K-State to improve the lives of the thousands of people with whom she has worked,” Lambert said.

The public presentation precedes the department’s annual Student and Alumni Awards Banquet, where Kobets will share her career experiences with students, faculty, alumni and guests.

Ag Econ Department Welcomes New Faculty Members

The Department of Agricultural Economics welcomed five new faculty members with the start of the fall semester.

Brian Briggeman

Brian Briggeman, Associate Professor
305C Waters Hall • (785) 532-2573 • Brian.Briggeman@agecon.ksu.edu
Brian Briggeman joined the faculty this fall as associate professor of agricultural economics and director of the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center. Briggeman earned his bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from K-State in 2000. He received his master’s degree in agricultural economics in 2002 from Texas A&M University. In 2006, he completed his Ph.D. in agricultural economics at Purdue University. Prior to K-State, Briggeman worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Omaha Branch.


Gregg Hadley

Gregg Hadley, Associate Professor
123 Umberger Hall • (785) 532-5838 • ghadley@ksu.edu
Gregg Hadley has joined the department as an associate professor of agricultural economics. He is the associate director for agriculture and natural resources for K-State Research and Extension. Hadley earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at Purdue University in 1989. He earned his master’s degree in 2001 and Ph.D. in 2003, both in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. Prior to coming to K-State, Hadley worked as an associate professor and extension farm management specialist at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.


Nathan Hendricks

Nathan Hendricks, Assistant Professor
304F Waters Hall • (785) 477-5430 • NPHendricks@agecon.ksu.edu
Nathan Hendricks joined the faculty this fall as assistant professor of agricultural economics and is specializing in natural resources. He teaches AGEC 315 Contemporary Issues in Global Food and Agricultural Systems. Hendricks earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from K-State in 2005 and 2007, respectively. In 2011, he completed his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics at the University of California – Davis.


Nina Lilja

Nina Lilja, Associate Professor
144 Waters Hall • (785) 532-5627 • nlilja@ksu.edu
Nina Lilja has been promoted to associate professor of agricultural economics. She has served as director of international agricultural programs for the College of Agriculture since 2008. Lilja earned her bachelor’s degree in international service and development in 1987 from World College West. She completed her master’s at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1992 and Ph.D. at Purdue University in 1996, both in agricultural economics. Prior to K-State, she was a senior scientist for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research in Colombia.


Mykel Taylor

Mykel Taylor, Assistant Professor
331C Waters Hall • (785) 532-3033 • mtaylor@agecon.ksu.edu
Mykel Taylor joined the faculty this fall as assistant professor of agricultural economics with a major appointment in extension. Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management in 2000 and master’s degree in applied economics in 2001, both from Montana State University. She completed her Ph.D. in economics in 2008 at North Carolina State University. Prior to K-State, Taylor was an assistant professor and extension specialist for the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University.

MAB Program to Host International Faculty

By Mary Bowen

Since 2002, the Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program has offered agribusiness professionals a chance to study the global food and agriculture industry without leaving the U.S. One course, Comparative Food and Agriculture Systems, is internationally taught by professors in seven different regions and offers an in-depth view of the global food and agribusiness industry. Now these professors get to be the students of the U.S. food and agriculture system during a visit to Kansas Sept. 20-25.

“The course is unique in that it provides a global perspective on the world’s food and agricultural system that will have to likely double output in the next 40 years. The course is currently taught at the University of Florida, the University of Missouri, Massey University and Moscow State University, in addition to K-State,” said Allen Featherstone, professor of agricultural economics and MAB program director.

During the meeting, the group will review and update the Comparative Food and Agriculture Systems course. They also will visit a few of Kansas’ premier agriculture facilities including the Hal Ross Flour Mill and the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI), both at K-State; Frito-Lay in Topeka; Frahm Farmland in Colby; and Cow Camp Beef in Ramona.

This is the group’s fourth meeting since its inception. Past meetings have also been held in Toulouse, France, and Canterbury, New Zealand. In 2006, the program was awarded a USDA/CSREES International Science and Education Competitive Grant to expand the course to include new partners representing North America, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Faculty also will present sessions during MAB’s agribusiness conference discussing the energy situation, global food security and agricultural policy.

Raijinder Sidhu of India’s Punjab Agricultural University will provide an update of the changing energy situation and needs in India. Pavel Sorokin of Russia’s Moscow State Agro-Engineering University will share a Russian perspective on feeding an increasing global population. Daniel Conforte of Uruguay’s Universidad ORT will talk about the development of dairy and livestock trading programs between South America and China. Other faculty will participate in a discussion on the future of the food and agriculture industry.

Current MAB students and alumni attending the agribusiness conference will have the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with the faculty they have previously only known virtually through recorded lectures and internet chat rooms.

Faculty from K-State and around the world participating in the meeting include:

  • Daniel Conforte, Universidad ORT, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Pavel Sorokin, Moscow State Agro-Engineering University, Moscow, Russia
  • Nicolas Habert, Ecole d’ingénieurs Purpan, Toulouse, France
  • Ravipim Chaveesuk, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Keith Woodford, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Lisa House, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Theodora Hyuha, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • Rajinder Sidhu, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
  • Allen Featherstone, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.