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 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,
  • 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

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

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