Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Animal Health Industry Insights - Trends and Career Pathways

Trends and career pathways in the animal health industry are the focus of the upcoming seminar "Animal Health Industry Insights" from Kansas State University. It is 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 23 at K-State Olathe.

Throughout the seminar, four prominent animal health industry speakers will share their insights on current trends in the animal health industry and what that means for the future of the industry, including the effects of acquisitions and mergers.

Industry insights will be provided by Eric Alsup, county manager at Vetoquinol USA; Gaynor Hillier, senior director of global vaccine strategy at Elanco Animal Health; Craig Wallace, chief executive officer and North America Pacific Zone director at Ceva Animal Health LLC; and Robert Zolynas, vice president of research and development for North America at Bayer HealthCare LLC.

A panel discussion centered on career development will follow the individual presentations.

"The dynamic nature of the animal health industry requires a unique set of skills to chart a path professionally, whether you are already working in the sector or want to be," said Deborah Kohl, coordinator of Kansas State University's Master of Agribusiness program, or MAB. "We are excited to be presenting speakers with decades of experience navigating the waters at a number of companies. The insight into current trends in animal health and the skills one needs to be successful will be invaluable for everyone in attendance."

"Animal Health Industry Insights" is being offered by the MAB program in partnership with K-State Olathe. The MAB is an award-winning program that blends business, management and economics into an industry-centric graduate curriculum tailored to working professionals in the animal heath, companion animal and agribusiness fields. A
master's degree in agribusiness — animal health cohort program is offered at K-State Olathe to professionals in Greater Kansas City.

Registration, which includes lunch, and more information about the seminar is at
olathe.k-state.edu/animalinsights. The seminar also will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Workshop explores use of blockchains in agriculture

 
In October, Kansas State University’s Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program, Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) and Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) are hosting a blockchain drive-in workshop. This event will explain blockchains and discuss uses in agriculture.

The Blockchain Drive-in Workshop is Oct. 12 at KDA, 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS. The conference is open to professionals in all fields.
Workshop Sessions Include:
  • Blockchain 101 - Andy Brudtkuhl, National Pork Board
  • First Movers, The Case of Wyoming Beef - Rob Jennings, Beefchain.io
  • Policy Implications - Daniel Gorfine, CFTC (invited)
  • Practical Applications - Lukas Fricke & Neil Johnson, ChorCheck
  • Practical Applications - Tanner Ehmke, CoBank

Registration is $40 per person. The registration fee includes lunch and meeting materials. A virtual option for those who cannot attend is person is also available.  Register for the conference at http://mab.k-state.edu/events/blockchain2018.html.

The conference is a collaboration of the MAB program, KFB and KDA.
 

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Strategic Approach to Reducing Mycoplasma Testing Costs


Zach Gregoire
Zach Gregoire, St. Joseph, Missouri, defended his thesis, “A Strategic Approach to Reducing Mycoplasma Testing Costs” on December 20. He is a Microbiologist for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Gregoire will be a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

Mycoplasma, a bacterium capable of making cattle, swine and poultry animals sick, is often present in ingredients of animal origin used in vaccines to protect livestock.  This is because Mycoplasma is very difficult to control due to its unique characteristics. The cost of Mycoplasma contamination in vaccine products can be very high for both animal health companies and their customers. To comply with regulatory requirements, vaccine manufacturers must conduct numerous expensive and complicated tests on animal products used in the manufacture of their products. By researching killed or inactivated virus products that have been shown to effectively kill Mycoplasma, a more economically beneficial way to eliminate Mycoplasma in the vaccine production process may be discovered.

“If a Mycoplasma contamination is found, a biological or pharmaceutical company can pay large sums of money to investigate the cause of the contamination, initiate corrective action, decontaminate the facility and destroy impacted batches” said Gregoire.

Through his thesis research, Gregoire’s identified three possible virus products that could successfully kill Mycoplasma bacteria. A vaccine manufacturer using these products has the potential to save approximately $1.2 million dollars over ten years.

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Agribusiness Economics & Management Professor and Gregoire’s thesis advisor, said “Whenever we solve an issue such as Mycoplasma more efficiently, it illustrates the power of research to advance humanity’s wellbeing. Zach’s study has immediate value for decision-makers in the animal health industry. It helps them not only develop more effective solutions to a big problem, but also reduce their regulatory burden.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange
at
http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/38619.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mango Butter Financial Feasibility Analysis: Value Added in the Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India


Sita Pendurthi
Sita Pendurthi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, defended her thesis, “Mango Butter Financial Feasibility Analysis: Value Added in the Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India” on December 20. She is an Advisor for the Archean Group. Pendurthi will be a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

The production of mango butter, a byproduct of mangos used in the cosmetic and soap industries, has increased in recent years in India. With the use of hydraulic pressing, extraction of oil from the mango kernel has become less expensive and results in a pure form of the resource, leading to the opportunity to convert a waste product into small-scale mango butter businesses.  In her thesis, Pendurthi examines the economic implications of establishing a mango butter operation, through examining manufacturing and market trends in India, evaluating different unit locations and by presenting a model to assess the financial feasibility of investment projects.

 “The advantages and limitations of competitors producing in the Indian market are examined. The study also identifies additional uses for mango butter in countries that are major consumers of the resource, and highlights products with which mango butter could compete”, said Pendurthi.

Pendurthi’s research suggested that entrepreneurs should study the sector thoroughly before investing in mango butter production. The thesis provides a foundation on which further analysis can be performed to determine whether mango butter production is economically viable for individual situations.

Allen Featherstone, Professor, Agricultural Economics Department Head, Director of the MAB program and Pendurthi’s thesis advisor, said, “Any time an item can be moved from a waste channel into an economically viable product, there are positive economic and environmental results. Ms. Pendurthi has identified one such opportunity”.
The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/38672.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Updated Speaker List for Leading through Change Professional Development Event

Leading through Change is Oct. 19-20 at the K-State Olathe campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe. The conference is open to professionals in all fields. 

In addition to Bruce Tulgan’s keynote, the conference features a series of diverse panelists who will provide attendees with tools, best practices and new insights on finding success during change. The sessions are as follows:

Thursday, October 19
  • “Today’s Agribusiness Climate,”  Dr. Allen Featherstone, Kansas State University
  • “Enter, Shift, Control: Data Risk and Leadership,” Jared Benson, Koch Industries Inc.
  • “#Marketing in a Digital Age,” Neil Caskey, Osborne and Barr
  • “Mergers and Acquisitions: Guiding Your Company through Change,” Paul Casady, K-State Olathe
  • “Sky is the Limit: Leveraging Unmanned Aerial Systems,” Robert Boyd, FFA committee member; Russ Plaschka, KS Dept of Agriculture; and Kurt Carraway, Kansas State Polytechnic’s Unmanned Aerial Systems program
  • KC Ag Business Council Luncheon with Richard B. Myers, President, Kansas State University
  • “Leading through Change Workshop,” Bruce Tulgan, RainmakerThinking
  • “Telling our Story in Times of Change,” JJ Jones, Roots & Legacies, Consulting, Inc.
Friday, October 20

  • “Policy Outlook for Leaders,” Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, Kansas State University
  • “Legal Considerations for Leadership,” Mark Anstoeter, Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP

Attendees who register by October 2 for the two-day event will receive a discount. Early registration is $295 per person for both days. After October 2, the two-day registration will be $350 per person. Single day registration including Tulgan’s keynote on Thursday, October19 is available for $245. The registration fee includes meals and meeting materials. 

Register and see a complete schedule for the conference at mab.k-state.edu/events/kc2017.html.

The Leading through Change conference is the eighth professional development and alumni reunion event from the MAB program. The conference is a collaboration of the MAB program and K-State Olathe, with the support of the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Master of Agribusiness program looks back at first class after 20 years

This is the first in a series of articles celebrating 20 years of the Master of Agribusiness program. As part of the year-long celebration, the MAB program will publish articles highlighting alumni and research conducted by students throughout the program. #MABTurns20

#MABClassof2000
The Master of Agribusiness (MAB) at Kansas State University was the first graduate agribusiness program in the nation to be offered via distance when it was launched in 1998. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Master of Agribusiness program, members of the first class (#MABClassof2000) look back on their experiences in the program and share their memories.

MAB Alum Bret Oelke, President of Innovus Agra LLC., said, "As a member of the ‘original’ MAB class, it sometimes felt as if the plane was being built as we were flying in it. This is not to say that I disapproved of the program, as a matter of fact it was exciting to be a part of something new and ahead of its time in education for working agriculture professionals."

At the time, distance education was relatively new, and the MAB program faced a learning curve in developing its curriculum and delivery methods.

"You’ll recall that distance learning and online education was in its very infancy in 1998, the year the first class made the decision to enroll and try the program. There was no path or template to follow, so the Ag Econ department had to basically invent the program from scratch. They did a really nice job of putting together an interesting and challenging program, with a lot of useful information and tools," Steve Stephens, Senior Vice President of American AgCredit, said.

The combination of distance education with face-to-face on-campus sessions, gave students the flexibility to earn a master’s degree without relocating for school, but also the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty in person to build relationships.

"I believe our first class benefited from one aspect of the program that I just don’t see how later classes do - and that was the ‘intimacy’ of the class. My recall is that there were 12 of us, so we all got to know each other during those weeks we were together," said Kurt David, COO, Eagle Communications. "I quickly learned during the MAB program that the faculty is comprised of so many brilliant people. The faculty at K-State know agriculture, and I knew I had surrounded myself with people who were smarter than I was. I was excited about that - that is when I knew I was going to learn from this experience."
In developing the curriculum, faculty in the Agricultural Economics department pulled the best pieces of a masters in agricultural economics and industry needs identified by an advisory board to create coursework that would be immediately applicable within industry.

"The program was a mix of hard and soft skills. Some skills/education I’ve used heavily are strategic planning, finance, agricultural policy, and even logistics to an extent. I know that the skills I acquired in the MAB program helped me make better decisions along the way, and definitely helped me advance and progress through the companies I’ve worked for. Probably most importantly, it’s given me the skills to analyze and understand my company, my industry and the world much more robustly," said Stephens.

The Master of Agribusiness program was originally developed for individuals working in the food and agricultural industry to learn business and economic skills without being on campus full time, but Dr. Allen Featherstone, Director of the MAB program and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department, soon realized the program’s reach could be much broader. From that first class with 12 students across the Great Plains, the program now has enrollment of 30-40 each year from 40 states within the United States and in more than 30 countries.

"We created a program that meets the educational needs of working professionals, and we deliver it in a format without interrupting work schedules and family life," said Featherstone. "Students can access the program regardless of where they are, and we now have students from around the world participating in the MAB."

From different backgrounds and experiences in the agriculture industry, that first class came together to shape the Master of Agribusiness program and help each other through the trials of graduate school.

Looking back, Rich Porter, Owner of Porter Cattle Company, said, "Thirty years after completing my bachelor’s degree, by then a grizzled old rancher myself, I started working on a Master of Agribusiness degree. I was fearful because my computer skills were primitive compared with those of the other students in the class. Their business experiences came from working with computers in industry, not from working with cattle and tractors. With the help and support of faculty and my classmates, I made it through the program. My computer skills were never elegant, but adequate to accomplish the task.

"Being in the first MAB class was exciting, because both the students and instructors were trying something new. Working an additional 12-15 hours a week for two and a half years, cut into our sleep time, but the increased knowledge benefited me vastly more than my investment in time and money," Porter said.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Changing workforce, effective leadership focus of upcoming professional development conference

OLATHE — In October, one of the nation's top leaders in management training is coming to Greater Kansas City to discuss generational diversity in the workplace and effective leadership in a changing employee landscape.

Bruce Tulgan, author, business consultant and founder of RainmakerThinking Inc. — a research, training and consulting firm that specializes in generational issues in the workplace — will share how employers can find new success in a changing workforce during his keynote at the professional development event, Leading through Change.

Leading through Change is Oct. 19-20 at the Kansas State University Olathe campus, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe. The conference is open to professionals in all fields.

"More and more businesses are dealing with how to effectively address the persistent needs of change management and working well with diverse teams," said Deborah Kohl, coordinator of Kansas State University's Master of Agribusiness program, or MAB, and conference organizer. "This conference is really geared for anyone managing a business or team, particularly those with employees from multiple generations. Employers will learn how to best manage the change that comes with this shifting employee landscape so they can continue to foster new leadership and attract the best talent to their firms."

In addition to Tulgan's keynote, the conference features a series of diverse panelists who will provide attendees with tools, best practices and new insights on finding success during change. The panels are as follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 19• Keynote session with Bruce Tulgan

• "Enter, Shift, Control: Data Risk and Leadership," invited speaker Ken Harmon of Koch Industries Inc.

• "#Marketing in a Digital Age," Neil Caskey of Osborne and Barr

• "Mergers and Acquisitions: Guiding Your Company through Change," Paul Casady of K-State Olathe

• "Sky is the Limit: Leveraging Unmanned Aerial Systems," Robert Boyd, FFA committee member, and Kurt Carraway of Kansas State Polytechnic's Unmanned Aerial Systems program

Friday, Oct. 20• "Policy Outlook for Leaders Roundtable," Dana Brooks of Land O’Lakes Inc.

• "Legal Considerations for Leadership," Mark Anstoeter of Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP

Attendees who register by Sept. 15 for the two-day professional development event will receive a discount. Early registration is $295 per person for both days. After Sept. 15, the two-day registration is $350 per person. Single day registration for Tulgan's keynote on Oct. 19 is available for $245, respectively. The registration fee includes meals and meeting materials.

Register and see a complete schedule for the conference at
mab.k-state.edu/events/kc2017.html.

The Leadership through Change conference is the eighth professional development and alumni reunion event from the MAB program. The conference is a collaboration of the MAB program and K-State Olathe, with the support of the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.