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K-State Today

August 13, 2015

Agricultural economics faculty, students become the solution at international conference

Submitted by Amanda Erichsen

Students from the Kansas State University's agricultural economics department participated in the annual case study competition of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, or IFAMA, at the association's 25th annual conference June 14-17 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Two student teams from the department participated in the case study competition. Earning fourth place was the team of Noah Miller, Oladipo Obembe, Kayode Ajewole and Becatien Yao. The second team was comprised of Adam Hancock, Maxime Salin-Maradeix, Elizabeth Gutierrez and Agness Mzyece. Team advisors are Aleksan Shanoyan and Keith Harris.

Case study competition has the student teams creating recommendations to address a real-life problem facing a company. This year's case study involved Monsanto, and what actions it could take to best use its investment in The Climate Corporation, a company known for its big data capabilities. Students had four hours to read, research and prepare their presentation, which was given before a panel of academic and industry judges in the preliminary stage. Qualifying teams for the final stage of the competition had two hours to improve their presentation and present before a panel of industry judges, including an executive from the case company and the president of CHS Foundation, William Nelson, the principal sponsor of the association's Student Case Study Competition.

Vincent Amanor-Boadu, agribusiness economics and management professor, was the program chair for this year's conference. This conference brings together business, academics and students to discuss the emerging issues in food and agribusiness industry. This year the theme of the conference was "Become the Solution."

"The theme resulted from looking at all of the challenges that are confronting the food and agribusiness sector," Amanor-Boadu said. "Everything was geared toward achieving food security because the food and agribusiness industry is the only one that has the fundamental, primary responsibility of ensuring that the inhabitants of this planet are fed. Whether we like it or not, it's an important business, because it is only when people are full that the other arts begin to happen."

Aleksan Shanoyan, assistant professor, also attended the conference.

"I enjoyed attending research paper sessions, watching student presentations and connecting with colleagues, but my favorite part of the conference were the roundtable sessions," he said. "The roundtable sessions brought together industry professionals, researchers and students in a format that allowed for more engaged interaction and dialogue around important issues facing global food and agribusiness."

The following is a list of the department's conference participation. Read more about the conferences that faculty and students in the department of agricultural economics are affiliated.

Conference participants
Elizabeth Gutierrez presented "Unleashing Women's Productive Potential to Drive Economic Growth and Rural Development in Northern Ghana." Authors included Gutierrez, Kara Ross, Yacob Zereyesus, Aleksan Shanoyan and Vincent Amanor-Boadu

Adam Hancock presented "Credit Access and Storage Behavior of Smallholder Maize Farmers in Northern Ghana. "Authors include Hancock, Aleksan Shanoyan, Yacob Zereyesus, Kara Ross and Vincent Amanor-Boadu. Hancock also presented "The Effect of Storage and Infrastructure on Post-Harvest Loss in Northern Ghana." Authors included Hancock, Aleksan Shanoyan, Yacob A. Zereyesus, Kara Ross and Vincent Amanor-Boadu

Frank Nti presented "Efficiency of Grain Farms in Northern Ghana: A Non-Parametric and Double Bootstrap Approach." Authors included Nti, Yacob Zereyesus and Kara Ross.

Agness Mzyece presened "Transaction Costs and Market Participation: Recent Evidence from Northern Ghana."
Authors included Mzyece, Aleksan Shanoyan, Yacob Zereyesus, Kara Ross and Vincent Amanor-Boadu.

Maxime Salin-Maradeix presented "Fertilizer Use and Agricultural Productivity in Northern Ghana: The Effect of Transaction Costs in Accessing Input Markets." Authors included Maxime Salin-Maradeix, Yacob Zereyesus, Kara Ross, Aleksan Shanoyan and Vincent Amanor-Boadu.

Keith Harris presented "An Actionable Plan for Educating Agribusiness Leadership Involved in Complex Problems."

Terry Griffin was facilitator for Big Data III — Agriculture, Food Security and Big Data: Realistic Expectations.

John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, presented "Food and Agribusiness Talent Flow IV."