Kansas State University


Department of Agricultural Economics

A Note from the Desk of Allen Featherstone

Allen FeatherstoneWelcome to the spring E-Newsletter. In this edition you’ll see an update from the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center, and the METSS team. In addition, our new graduate programs director, Dr. Jason Bergtold, shares a few thoughts on his new appointment. Finally, we look ahead to our upcoming summer and fall events.

Our achievements are directly related to the continued support of our alumni and sponsorships. This support helps us provide our students and outreach programs the proper foundation to continue our tradition of excellence. We appreciate the dedication and engagement of our alumni and outside supporters. Thank you to our generous donors who give back to the Department.

Please take time to learn more about the activities of our department. We also encourage you to share your career and family developments so we can keep your fellow alumni informed. Please email me at afeather@ ksu.edu or Thomas Reust, our communications coordinator, at tomreust@ksu.edu with information you would like to share with your fellow alumni.
Dr. Allen Featherstone
Department Head, Professor, Master of Agribusiness Program Director

METSS Update

The agricultural economics USDA METSS project is currently working on several surveys for Ghana. Two projects included in that group are the Demand Power Project and the Agricultural Production Survey Part II.

“You can imagine, most African countries do not have access to power,” says Cesar Guvele, adjunct assistant professor. “Ghana is very lucky that up to maybe 57 percent of the population actually has access to some sort of power.”

Guvele says access to a reliable power source will help Ghana further its industrial development. The power project measures the willingness of the power users to pay for the electricity, and the supplier’s ability to provide that power for an affordable price, to help the people of Ghana improve their quality of life.

“Ghana has set up a strategy to have all households hooked up to an electrical system in the country by 2020,” says Guvele. “Our project is tasked with determining the feasibility of that goal.”

Continue reading “METSS Update”

ACCC Update

Cooperative Education in Full Swing and Cooperative History Captured

When cooperative leaders gather, there is a great synergy of passion, determination and a willingness to learn new ways to help their cooperatives move forward to meet the future needs of their customers. The winter months are the prime meeting time for cooperative leaders. Not only did Arthur Capper Cooperative Center (ACCC) Director, Dr. Brian Briggeman and ACCC Managing Director, Seleise Barrett, host a successful conference for cooperative CEOs and board chairs, but each attended several cooperative conferences, including the CHS Cooperative Leadership Conference (Dr. Briggeman was a panelist on the program), National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Annual Meeting, KCC and KFSA Annual Meetings and the CoBank Western Plains Customer Meeting. For both, spending time with cooperative CEOs, directors and leadership teams, brought experiences rich with insight, a chance to hear great speakers and the opportunity to network within the cooperative community.

In addition to cooperative meetings, many local cooperatives hold board retreats and strategic management team retreats during the winter months. Dr. Briggeman made presentations at several retreats. The economic outlook and the map project were the most requested topics.

Continue reading “ACCC Update”


A new Director of Graduate Programs for the Department of Agricultural Economics was recently appointed. Dr. Jason Bergtold has assumed the position, and is looking forward to leading the department forward into the new semester. Bergtold joined the agricultural economics faculty in 2007 where he conducts research on production economics, bioenergy, land use, land cover changes and applied econometrics.

“I am hoping to further strengthen our on campus M.S. and Ph.D. programs,” says Bergtold. “I want to bring in strong students, and keep our program nationally ranked in terms of being a place where students want to further their education.”

Bergtold says he takes a student’s-first approach to the graduate program. At the graduate level, he believes students have a real thirst for knowledge and learning, which he hopes embolden their steps to realize their own career paths.

“Dr. Bergtold has been supportive throughout my graduate career,” says Ana Claudia Sant’Anna, a Ph.D. candidate. “He has shared his experience and knowledge with me, increasing my confidence in my research and teaching skills. His doors are always open to me and he makes me feel part of the team by valuing my opinions.”

Bergtold’s is fully dedicated to making the program the best it can be for our students. He says he will continue his open door policy with his students and tries to help them succeed in any way he can.

“As a department, I want to approach the graduate program like we are building our program and building professionals,” says Bergtold. “As graduate director, I want to help the graduate students succeed.”

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Risk and Profit Conference
August 17th – 18th
Manhattan, Ks

Women in Agriculture
June 2nd – 3rd
Garden City, Ks

Farm and Ranch Income Tax/Estate Planning Webinar
July 13th-14th

Harnessing the Power of Excel Workshop
July 25th
Great Bend, Ks

For more information please visit AgManager.info