April 7, 2017: James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture 


1:30- 3:30 pm: James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture, Krannert Auditorium 


Opening Remarks: Ken Foster

Welcome to Dr. Mary Ruth Snyder and family

Special Award presentation to Mr. Don Villwock

Introduction: Dr. Ken Foster

Lecture: Dr. Daniel Sumner
Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor

"Farm Practice and Food Trade across States and Nations"


​The Lecture

The James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture is the Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature event at Purdue University. The lectures were established at Purdue in February 1975 as an appropriate memorial to a distinguished member of the faculty.  Funds for the support of such a memorial are contributed by friends and corporations who wish to encourage the continuation of the professional efforts of Jim Snyder during his brief but brilliant career.

The purposes of the Memorial Lectures are:​ 
  • 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.

​A top professional in agricultural business and economics, or related areas, is brought to the campus to 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 professional and lay people invited as special guests.

Recent Snyder Lecturers

Robert L. Thompson, 2016 - Powerpoint Presentation

Helen Jensen, 2015

J.B. Penn, 2014

Robert B. Zoellich, 2013

  • Rob Paarlberg, 2012 - Video of Lecture (700 MB), viewable PC, iPhone, iPad ( Presentation Slides )

  • Thomas Hoenig, 2011 - Video of Lecture (300 MB)
  • Ian Sheldon, 2010
  • Brian Wright, 2009
  • Scott Irwin, 2008
  • Jason Shogren 2007
  • Zoltan Acs, 2006
  • David Downey, 2005
  • Douglas Hedley, 2004
  • Susan Offutt, 2003
  • Victor Davis Hanson, 2002

    James C. Snyder


    SnyderDr. James Snyder was born March 31, 1930 in Ontario, Canada.  He completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Ontario Agricultural College in 1953.  He came to Purdue for Graduate study in Agricultural Economics and earned his M.S. Degree in 1956 and a Ph.D. Degree in 1962.  

    Jim very early on, demonstrated extraordinary initiative and creativity in his graduate research. He became excited about the potential use of management decision models for agribusiness.  In recognition of his excellence in research, Jim received a Ph.D. thesis award from the American Farm Economics Association, the first such award earned by a Purdue student. 

    Upon completion of graduate study, Jim became a member of the faculty in Agricultural Economics at Purdue and began a brilliant teaching and research career, attaining the rank of Professor in 1969.  He was named Teacher of the Year in recognition of his outstanding undergraduate instruction in business management.  

    His pioneering research contributed greatly to knowledge about the practical applicability of quantitative approaches to decision making in management of agribusiness firms.  He became increasingly excited about the growing success he was achieving by employing advanced quantitative methods in the solution of practical problems. His design of functional programs for management decision-making is well known, and his consulting activities gave him insights and opportunities to make his work relevant to every-day business needs.

     Jim Snyder was a master teacher of graduate students.  He gave the type of personalized and rigorous training which qualified them for leading positions in business, education and government.  He made research exciting and students responded with hard work, devotion and admiration.  Students wanted to work with him. Jim Snyder will be remembered as a brilliant colleague whose work, standards and style are a challenge to all to build and grow.​

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