Tuesday, October 1, 2013

K-State Master of Agribusiness offers tour of Brazilian and Argentine agribusinesses

Kansas State University’s Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program is offering travel to Brazil and Argentina to learn about the food and agriculture industry in South America. The trip will include professional visits to agricultural and food related industries. Guided sightseeing tours will be arranged along with free time to explore Buenos Aires, the waterfalls at Puerto Iguazu, and Sao Paulo. The tour is scheduled for February 14 – March 1, 2014 and is open to anyone with an interest in international agribusiness.
This the second time the MAB program has traveled to South America since the program began hosting international agribusiness tours in 2004. Tracy Brunner, President of Cow Camp Beef in Ramona, Kan., was one of the participants on the first South America tour.
“The MAB sponsored agricultural study tour to South America [in 2004] became even more than we expected. We saw and learned many things about crop and livestock production. We also witnessed firsthand some of the inherent strengths and challenges of agriculture in the MERCOSUR countries we visited,” Brunner said.
Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director of the Master of Agribusiness program, thinks people will enjoy getting a different perspective on agriculture.
“While the MERCOSUR region is a direct competitor for U.S. agriculture, their perspective on many issues is very different than the U.S. perspective,” Featherstone said. “Understanding management challenges in a region that deals with turbulent macroeconomic conditions, no formal government support, and few formal insurance markets will provide a keen insight into one of the biggest challengers to the U.S. agricultural system. Understanding the process used by the South American livestock sector in dealing with animal traceability will also be educational.”
Previous international trips hosted by the Master of Agribusiness program have been to South America, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. Travelers get a first-hand perspective of international agriculture, while building relationships with members of the group. When remembering the most recent trip to Europe, Brunner said he enjoyed the mix of the group, professional visits and sightseeing.
“I think the K-State Master of Agribusiness group assembled an excellent tour that was not only interesting and educational, but really enjoyable. One of my favorite things was getting to know the group members. There is such a great dynamic on MAB trips. We also sampled European agriculture and saw many of the world class sights of Rome, Milan, Lucerne, and Paris; few tours could ever boast so much in such a short time,” Brunner said.
More information about the trip can be found at http://mab.ksu.edu/Alumni/SAmerica14.html or by contacting Mary Bowen at 785-532-4435, mjbowen@ksu.edu 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Agribusiness: What Could Go Wrong?

The agricultural industry has come off a period of sustained profitability, and history has shown that periods of high profitability don’t continue indefinitely. High prices often cure high prices. The Kansas State University Master of Agribusiness (MAB) program is hosting Agribusiness: What Could Go Wrong, an event to interact with experts in the agribusiness industry regarding potential black swans on the horizon.
The MAB Professional Development Conference will be August 8 and 9 at Cargill’s Headquarters in Wayzata, Minn. The agenda includes key topics addressed from different perspectives: food pricing and risk, decision making uncertainty, productivity, and the potential for expansion of arable land.
“We are pleased to put together a program that addresses some issues that agribusinesses may face in the future. Given the outstanding performance of the sector, there is always an opportunity for complacency to be built into decision making.  Attendees will be able interact with industry experts along with each other,” said Dr. Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Director of the Master of Agribusiness program at K-State.
To open the event on the afternoon of Thursday, August 8, Terry Garvert, Corn and Customer Risk Manager, Cargill, will provide a short overview of the agriculture industry; he will be followed by Emery Koenig, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, Cargill, who will discuss food pricing and risk; Dr. Featherstone will give a synopsis of factors to consider in the agriculture industry; and Dr. Bryan Schurle, Professor at Kansas State University will end the day with a discussion on how decisions are made in a risky environment.
The program will continue on Friday with a session by Bill Even, Global Lead for Industry Relations, DuPont Pioneer talking about improving crop yields and technology; followed by a series of perspectives regarding global implications with perspectives on land availability and technology adoption from Constanza Valdes, Markets and Trade Economics Division, Economic Research Service, USDA on the MERCOSUR Region, Pavel Sorokin, Professor, Russian State Agrarian University on Russia and the Former Soviet Union, and Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Professor, Kansas State University, on Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to providing professional development and continuing education, there will be plenty of opportunity for networking with agribusiness colleagues at the event. Wendell Hockens, MAB Graduate from the Class of 2001, is looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of these complex issues while networking.
“Business professionals attending the upcoming MAB Professional Development Conference will learn about topics affecting the food and agriculture industry in a setting that promotes ‘thinking out of the box’, a free exchange of ideas and learning about trends that may have escaped attention in your day-to-day activities.  You will also have the opportunity to renew friendships and make new acquaintances by networking with the other professionals attending the conference,” Hockens said.
The event is open to agribusiness professionals interested in learning more about the current global agriculture industry. Interested individuals can register online at www.mab.ksu.edu or contact Mary Bowen (mjbowen@ksu.edu, 785-532-4435) for more information.

Friday, April 12, 2013

We are excited to announce a new MAB cohort for Animal Health professionals. The first classes will begin in August, with on-campus sessions at K-State Olathe. You can read more about the new cohort here: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/news/story/animal_health041113.aspx or contact us at mab@ksu.edu.