James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture

Friday, September 25th, 2020

Krannert Auditorium

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm 



2020 Guest Lecturer - Dr. Scott Irwin

Dr. Scott H. Irwin is the Laurence J. Norton Chair of Agricultural Marketing in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and considered a national and international leader in the field of agricultural economics. His research on agricultural markets is widely-cited by other academic researchers and is in high demand among market participants, policymakers, and the media. 

He is best known for his work on the impact of speculation in commodity markets. Irwin has published numerous academic articles on the subject and has been called upon to provide testimony before the U.S. Congress, the OECD, and the CFTC, as well as publishing op-ed articles in the New York Times and Washington Times. He is also a well-known innovator in the development of agricultural extension programs that have helped hundreds of thousands of farmers in Illinois, the U.S. and throughout the world make more informed production, marketing, and financial decisions. His vision and leadership have been the driving force behind the award-winning farmdoc project at the University of Illinois since its inception in 1999. 

Irwin is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) and was named a Fellow in 2013, the highest honor bestowed by the Association. He has also received the Distinguished Group Extension Program Award (three times), the Quality of Communication Award, and Quality of Research Discovery Award from the AAEA. ​Irwin is a graduate of Purdue University, class of 1986, where he earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics.

His Snyder Lecture is titled, “Just Give Me a Number: Estimating the Economic Value of Extension Programs” and will be followed by a discussion panel featuring Purdue Extension experts: Maria Marshall, Jason Henderson, James Mintert, and Don Villwock.


History of the Lecture

The James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture is the Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature event at Purdue University. The lectures were established in February 1975 as an appropriate memorial to a distinguished member of the faculty. Funds are contributed by friends and corporations who wish to encourage the continuation of Jim Snyder’s professional efforts during his brief but brilliant career. As a highlight, a top professional in agricultural business and economics, or related areas, is brought to the campus to give a lecture and interact with staff and students. The Memorial Lecture, of general interest to all Department professional staff and students, is the high point of the visit. The lecture is open to the public with selected professionals invited as special guests.​


Purpose

  • To stimulate the intellectual environment of the Department for more creative research, teaching, Extension, and international activities. 
  • To recognize the professional contributions of Professor James Snyder in pioneering undergraduate curriculum in agricultural business management, and in the development and application of quantitative techniques for agribusiness research and training of graduates.
  • To contribute to the Department’s efforts to enhance and motivate excellence in all of its mission areas by bringing to the Purdue campus individuals who can offer unique contributions. 
  • To broaden the perspective of students by exposing them to outstanding professionals from other institutions, and close interaction both within structured situations and informal settings. 
  • To assist the faculty on specific assignments.


Previous Snyder Lecturers​ 

 


 

James C. Snyder

In Memoriam

March 31, 1930 - June 1st, 1974​


Dr. James (Jim) Snyder was born March 31, 1930 in Ontario, Canada. Jim completed his bachelor’s degree at Ontario Agricultural College in 1953 and came to Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics for graduate study, earning his M.S. degree in 1956 and a Ph.D. in 1962. In recognition of his excellence in research, Jim received a Ph.D. thesis award from the American Farm Economics Association (now the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association), the first such award earned by a Purdue student.

Jim Snyder joined the Purdue Agricultural Economics staff in 1957 as an instructor, quickly gaining prominence in the application of modern quantitative decision procedures to the problems of agricultural businesses. From 1954 to 1961 he also served in a part-time Visiting Professor capacity on the faculty of Goshen College.  Professor Snyder was an outstanding teacher of both undergraduates and graduate students as well as of businessmen. He was named Teacher of the Year for his outstanding undergraduate instruction and attained the rank of full professor in 1969. 

He was a pioneer in the practical application of management decision models to agribusiness. He successfully developed a compacted matrix approach to solving large and complex computer problems. He paralleled his academic success with the development of a highly respected business management consulting firm. His design of functional programs for management decision-making is well known, and his consulting activities gave him insight and opportunities to make his work relevant to every-day business needs.

Jim Snyder is remembered as a brilliant colleague whose work, standards and style are an inspiration to those following in his footsteps at Purdue University. We hope to encourage the legacy of farming, the importance of research and emerging technologies, as well as the networking of ideas and strategies with future James C. Snyder Memorial Lectures.

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