Agricultural Economics

The Department of Agricultural Economics was created along with the other four departments, Agricultural Education, Animal Science, Agricultural Engineering Technology, and Plant and Earth Sciences in 1967.  R. Vern Elefson, who had joined the faculty after receiving his PhD from the University of Minnesota, was the first Department Chair, and remained in that position until his retirement in 1993.

Vern Elefson
Vern Elefson

Gary Rohde, a UW-River Falls graduate, joined the department after receiving his doctorate from UW-Madison.  In the mid-1970’s Rohde was selected as Assistant Dean of the College, and was instrumental in the design and start-up of the Internship Program.  In 1976 Rohde temporarily left the University, relocating to Madison to accept his appointment as the Wisconsin State Secretary of Agriculture.  He later returned to take up the position of College Dean in 1981.

Gary Rohde
Gary Rohde
Gerald Nolte
Gerald Nolte

Other faculty members from the early period were Gerald Nolte (1970), James Shatava (1972), and Willmar Dahl (1976).  Both Rohde and Nolte were honored during their careers as University Outstanding Teachers.  Dahl left the University to became the Director of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

James Shatava
James Shatava

Other faculty members included Dr. Pat Cantlon, Dr. Mary McKnight, Dr. Lewi May, and Dr. Stan Schraufnagel.

Pat Cantlon
Pat Cantlon
Lewi May
Lewi May
Mary McKnight
Mary McKnight

During the course of its existence, the department has offered several different academic programs, including majors in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Marketing, and Farm Management.  For several years the department offered a masters degree program in Agricultural Economics, a joint effort with the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

In the early 1980s, the department underwent a reorganization driven by financial considerations and also student demand.  The result was a more focused department with a single undergraduate major, Agricultural Business.

Other faculty members in the Agricultural Economics Department include the following:

Allen Pikop 1967-1968
Gerald Schwab 1969-1970
William Lin 1971-1972
Thomas Hanke 1979-1980
William Reilly 1980-1982
Stanley Schraufnagel 1983-present
William Hahn 1985-1986
David Passe 1986-1989
Nate Splett 1994-2012 (later appointed Associate Dean and Acting Dean)
Larry Swain 1994-2001
David Trechter 1990-present
Mark Stephenson 1990-1993
Stacy Bosley 1999-2000
Greg Hadley 2001-present
Brenda Boetel 2002-present (later appointed Assistant Dean)
Stan Schraufnagel
Stan Schraufnagel
Stan Schraufnagel
Stan Schraufnagel
Larry Swain
Larry Swain
David Trechter
David Trechter
Willmar Dahl (right) with Gary Rohde
Willmar Dahl (right) with Gary Rohde
Gary Rohde
Gary Rohde
Nate Splett
Nate Splett
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