About the Department of Agricultural Economics
To develop the most effective applied research products to support our teaching, outreach and extension programs that prepare our students for the global marketplace, position our industry stakeholders successfully in their increasingly complex markets, support policymakers in developing and implementing research-based policies, and make us the partner of choice among our peers.
The Department of Agricultural Economics has a rich tradition of service to agriculture and related fields dating back to 1912 when the university organized the division of Agriculture and formed the Department of Farm Management, which was the forerunner for our department as it exists today. Over time, the department has developed two undergraduate majors in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, as well as academic minors stemming from each program; a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics degree; a fully online Master of Agribusiness degree; and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics.
Though it is vital and central to who we are as a department, teaching is just one component of our mission. Our service to community and industry is enhanced through research,extension and outreach, giving us the opportunity to extend our knowledge and resources beyond campus boundaries through professional organizations, outreach education, and comprehensive tools and resources for producers, agribusinesses, cooperative professionals, and other agricultural entities.
Our undergraduate program in the Department of Agricultural Economics has a long-standing reputation for excellence in teaching, advising, and commitment to students. The department offers a B.S. in Agribusiness and a B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Agricultural Economics. Consistent with the growth occurring in the college, our undergraduate student enrollment has reached a new high of 480 students for the 2013 fall semester, a growth of 33 percent in the last two years. Our graduates enter the job market with a full set of skills that allow them to apply for jobs anywhere in the world. Perhaps what is most exciting is the placement rates. The most recent information from the placement office has indicated a placement rate of roughly 95 percent.
The Department of Agricultural Economics offers studies leading to a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) a Master of Agricultural Economics (MS) or a Doctorate of Agricultural Economics (Ph.D.). More than 90 graduate students are enrolled in the Department. The MAB program is the first distance education agribusiness master’s program in the U.S. The 2½ year program allows agribusiness professionals to pursue a graduate degree while maintaining full time employment. The MAB program emphasizes the study of economic and agribusiness management concepts and their application to food and agricultural business situations. The M.S. program stresses a strong foundation in economic theory and quantitative analysis, and their application in agriculturally related areas. Students may select from a variety of specialties and may complete either a thesis or non-thesis option. The Ph.D. program prepares students to conduct quantitatively-based economic research and analysis of managerial and policy questions. Doctoral study in the Department of Agricultural Economics leads to rewarding careers in industry, government, and higher education.
Consistent with the growth occurring in the college, our M.S. and Ph.D. program enrollment has remained strong; the Masters of Agribusiness enrollment has also increased. Perhaps what is most exciting is the placement rates. Our masters and Ph.D. graduates continue to be in demand. Recent Ph.D. graduates have been hired into the Texas A&M University system, Mississippi State University, and at the University of Tokyo.
The Department of Agricultural Economics has an active research program which addresses a variety of topics. The diversity of agricultural economic, agribusiness, and rural economic development issues within the state of Kansas provides a wide array of research activities. Research programs in the Department are funded primarily through the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. External grants and contracts also provide a major source of research program support and are secured from state commodity commissions, state agencies, federal agencies, and private foundations.
The Department of Agricultural Economics conducts an active outreach program to provide information and education on issues of significance to agriculture and rural areas in Kansas. All of the Department's extension and outreach information are housed at the AgManager.info website. This easy-to-navigate system allows users to get the latest information and tools for their competitive businesses. The Department’s outreach program is one of the largest Agricultural Economics Extension programs in the U.S. and includes 12 state specialists, 2 area specialists, and 21 Kansas Farm Management Association Economists.