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The Comment Corner

Dear Friends of Agricultural Economics,

The agricultural economics graduate curriculum at Purdue University is in the tradition of the Land Grant College philosophy: knowledge for the improvement of the human condition. Sound judgment, rigorous analysis and ability to define and solve problems are the goals of the professional agricultural economist. Our program endeavors to create a challenging environment of scholarship, creativity and freedom of intellectual inquiry.

The 2010 Spring semester has been busy for the graduate students in Agricultural Economics as students won awards, fellowships, made summer plans, found jobs and gave back to the community. Andrew Sowell received the D. Woods Thomas Memorial International Support Fund. During May-July,2010, Andrew will be in Ecuador collecting data for his thesis which concerns the benefits accruing from an improved variety of naranjilla (an Andean fruit), which is resistant to Fusarium, a devastating fungus.

Kendra Arrington, presented her research, “An Evaluation of Consumer Segments for Farmers’ Markets in Indiana and Illinois” at the MANRRS Graduate Oral Research Competition—Division II and was the successful first place winner. Dr. Jennifer Dennis served as her advisor.

Amanda Leister has been awarded a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to participate in the 2010 East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute. Amanda will work on her PhD Dissertation from June through August at Nagoya City University in Japan. Benoit Delbecq was awarded the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship for Fall 2010.

Budgets maybe tight but many grant opportunities are available. Peter Mitchell recently won grant funding for his thesis study from the North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Researcher and Education (NRC-SARE) for his project titled Farmer Access to Regional Meat Processing Capacity in the North Central Region – A Spatial Approach.

We are pleased that our graduates are finding positions across the US. Kendra Arrington, MS, will join the Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA in Washington, D.C. Anna Flaig, MS, accepted a job at Cargill as the Fertilizer Analyst for the GAMA (Global Ag Marketing Analysis) Group at corporate HQ in Minneapolis, MN. Maud Roucan-Kane, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sam Houston State University. Joyia Smith, MS, USDA, Washington, DC.

Kendra Arrington, Eric O’Rear and Fernando Malapi assisted at the 25th Annual Career Fair and Training Conference organized by the MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Relates Sciences) organization in Orlando, FL. Fernando Malapi Nelson was appointed as member of the Economic Development workshop at the 2010 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar “Global Challenges, Local Solutions: Fostering Change through Social Entrepreneurship” in Seattle, WA.

Summer plans for our students include Rejeana Gvillo who will be a “volunteering/interning” for research purposes at Harvest Select, a catfish company in the Southeast . Rejeana will also make an appearance at the upcoming Cotton School held in Memphis, TN. Carson Reeling will be presenting a selected poster at the AAEA conference in Denver in July titled “Improving Agricultural Irrigation on the Balkhab River, Afghanistan.”

As for community service, eight students are running in the ½ marathon in Indianapolis and have dedicated their race to raising money and awareness for a non-profit, Action Against Hunger. The students are: Ben Allen, Jessa Becker, Bryce Borchers, Anna Flaig, Jenna Flesher, Amber Rankin, Andy Sowell, and David Widmar. During spring semester AGEC challenged other Ag Departments in the First Annual College of Agriculture Food Drive. Thanks to Bryce Borchers, a donation of 3,163 food items were donated to Food Finders Food Bank. The traveling trophy is an engraved, ‘gently used’ pitchfork.

Graduate students come to Purdue with varied backgrounds and interests. They leave with life-long friendships spread around the world.

Hail Purdue!
LouAnn Baugh
Graduate Coordinator
Agricultural Economics

2010 Apex Awards
This Award is presented by the Department of Agricultural Economics and is in recognition of those individuals with a strong connection to the Department of Agricultural Economics who have made outstanding contributions in their fields. The Apex Award represents the convergence of accomplishment in the lives of our honorees. Our 2010 inductee's are: Kim Emshwiller, Jason Henderson, Evelyn Ott, and Warren Preston. Read more.

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Economists Study How to Improve China's Food Safety
Throughout much of the last century, China's centrally planned, closed economy made it an insignificant player in the global trading system. Today, having gone from a sleeping giant to one of the fastest growing economies, China is considered the poster-child for economic growth. Many economists have called China's emergence a "positive economic shock," unleashing a consumer base and workforce of nearly 1.2 billion people into the global market. Read more.

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Three AgEcon Faculty Have Articles Published in AJAE
Three Purdue Ag Econ faculty members were among the authors chosen to write papers in the recently released Centennial Issue of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Michael Boehlje coauthored the paper on Agribusiness Economics and Management, James Eales coauthored the paper on Food and Consumer Economics, and Matthew Holt coauthored the paper on Econometric Developments.  Read more.

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IVth World Conference of the Spatial Econometrics Association
Researchers and graduate students of the Space, Health and Population Economics group in the department are organizing the IVth World of Conference of the Spatial Econometrics Association (SEA) in Chicago, June 10-12, 2010. The conference brings together economists, econometricians and spatial scientists from across the world to discuss the present achievements and future challenges and opportunities in spatial data analysis. Read more.

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CAFO group wins Purdue Agriculture Team Award
A group of Purdue University specialists who collaborated on research and public information about concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has won the 2010 Purdue Agriculture Team Award. The team, made up of 21 members representing five departments within Purdue's College of Agriculture and Purdue Extension, conducted an extensive study of Indiana CAFOs, hosted a public forum its results, launched an informational website and produced more than 20 CAFO-related Extension publications. Read more.

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May 2010 Issue

In this Issue

For More Information
Carol Wood
Web Communications Coordinator
Department of Agricultural Economics
Purdue University
(765) 494-0974


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