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K-State Today

July 10, 2014



Featherstone named agricultural economics department head

By Katie Allen

Allen Featherstone is the new head of the Department of Agricultural Economics.

The College of Agriculture at Kansas State University has named Allen Featherstone as the new head of the agricultural economics department. He began his official appointment June 30.

"Dr. Featherstone brings prudent leadership, and a wealth of ideas, energy and experience to the position," said John Floros, dean of K-State's College of Agriculture. "The administrative team and I are happy that Dr. Featherstone accepted our offer, and we welcome him into our college's leadership team. I am looking forward to working with him as he settles into his new role, and as he provides visionary leadership for our of agricultural economics department."

"The department has experienced 40 percent growth in its undergraduate programs in the last two years," Featherstone said. "Certainly meeting student needs will be an important aspect to work on. In addition, the department is having several faculty with many years of service retiring, and hiring individuals to continue their legacy also will be very important."

Featherstone joined K-State as a faculty member in 1986 and has since taken on several roles, including serving as the department's interim head on two occasions in the last six years. He grew up on his family's farm in Walworth, Wisconsin. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls with degrees in agricultural economics and economics, he completed master's and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics at Purdue University.

A professor of agricultural economics at K-State, Featherstone also currently directs the master of agribusiness, or MAB, program and the department's graduate program. He has advised more than 60 graduate students and has taught many undergraduate and graduate courses, including comparative food and agriculture systems, agricultural finance and risk management, to name a few.

Featherstone has helped bring nearly $1.5 million in research dollars to K-State in the 28 years he's served as a faculty member. His research has encompassed an array of subjects within the area of agricultural economics, but his main specialty is agricultural finance. He is a renowned expert in land values and agricultural lending, and he serves on the research team for the biannual Ag Lender's Survey, a nationwide survey of agricultural lending institutions that gauges short- and long-term expectations of the future lending environment.

As a leading agricultural finance scholar, Featherstone has conducted research on and provided assistance to the industry on mergers, loan loss severity, the influence of taxes on farm land and alternative federal tax systems. Featherstone has published more than 120 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Journal of Applied Finance and Banking, and International Research Journal of Finance and Economics. He also has served as a co-author on several agricultural economics book chapters and reviews.

Featherstone is a member of many professional organizations such as the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, American Finance Association, International Association of Agricultural Economics, and the Kansas Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. At K-State, he is a current member of Faculty Senate and has served on the K-State Online College Advisory Council, Provost's Compensation Task Force, Graduate School Grievance Committee, General Grievance Board, Graduate Council and Graduate School Readmission Committee.

Since 1999, he has served as the advisor to K-State's chapter of Alpha Zeta, the oldest national agricultural honorary society for students and industry professionals. He has been awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, Association for Continuing Higher Education Distinguished Credit Program Award, the K-State College of Agriculture Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, among others.