Another fall semester has passed quickly. As we get ready to wrap up the semester, I would like to highlight some of the departmental teaching, research, and extension accomplishments within the department.
Our undergraduate program enrollment has increased by 100% in the last ten years. The undergraduate student body consists of 40% transfer students that are made up of students entering from other Departments and from community colleges. Ms. Cherie Hodgson continues to lead our recruiting strategy, and bring diverse demographics into our student body. During the fall, we hosted the annual awards banquet and awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to our students. Our department continues to outperform the university average in graduation rates with an 80% graduation rate. We graduated 118 students during the year.
A program helping young leaders engage with other leaders has two new members from the agricultural economics program. Freshmen Emily Zwick of Wichita, KS, and Del Adcock of Assumption, IL, were formally inducted into the Honorary Quest program this fall. The Quest initiative pairs freshmen with seniors from the Blue Key honorary society to help them experience a deeper level of engagement with the community.
K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program is offering travel to Brazil to learn about the food and agriculture industry in that country. The trip is scheduled for June 11 – 20, 2016 and will include stops at an ethanol plant, crop and cattle farms, sugar cane and coffee farms, as well as professional visits to agricultural and food-related industries. Guided sightseeing tours will be arranged along with free time to explore, and two days at the beautiful Iguazu waterfalls.
Agriculture is a principal driver of the Brazilian economy. While sugar cane has been a primary focus, Brazil has become one of the world’s largest exporter of coffee, soybeans, beef, sugar cane, ethanol and frozen chickens.
For any cooperative, creating value for members is critical for success. As agriculture moves into a period of tighter margins, deploying capital and positioning the cooperative will be even more imperative for driving value back to the membership. The 2015 K-State Symposium on Cooperative Issues focused on creating member value. The Arthur Capper Cooperative Center (ACCC) hosted the symposium on August 19, 2015, at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Technical Support Services (METSS) program contributes technical assistance for achieving the developmental goals of the USAID/Ghana Economic Growth (EG) Office. The EG Office manages development programs that improve local health and livelihoods by generating market-driven mechanisms and nurturing commercial relationships that improve Ghana’s industrial competitiveness.