The James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture


James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture

Friday, April 13th, 2018​

About ​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.​



  • 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.

44th Annual Snyder Lecture Schedule of Events for Friday April 13th, 2018

 8:30 AM – Krannert Drawing Room

  Graduate Student Poster Competition and judging. Light breakfast and refreshments will be available

9:45 AM – Krannert Drawing Room

  Announcement of graduate student poster awards winners

  Presentation of the Department's Outstanding Service Awards

  Presentation of the Outstanding MS Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation Awards 

  Presentation of the APEX Awards

11:30 AM John Purdue Room, Marriott Hall

  Invited Lunch

1:30 PM  – Krannert Auditorium — 1st Floor

  Snyder Memorial Lecture

  Opening Remarks by Jayson Lusk, welcoming of Dr. Mary Ruth Snyder and family. 

  Special Recognition of the Schrader Chair in Farmland Economics 

2:00 PM  – Krannert Auditorium — 1st Floor

  Introduction of Dr. Keith Coble, Giles Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Mississippi State University

  Dr. Coble’s presentation: “ Taking a Longer View of U.S. Farm Policy”

3:30 PM  –  Krannert Drawing Room

  Department Reception immediately following the lecture.


44th Annual Snyder Memorial Lecture Guest Speaker Bio

Dr. Keith Coble 

Dr. Keith Coble is a Giles Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Mississippi State University.  Previously, Coble worked at USDA Economic Research Service and studied at Texas A&M and the University of Missouri.  Coble focuses on risk management, agricultural policy, and insurance. Since writing a dissertation on crop insurance in 1993, Coble has researched and lectured on crop insurance and has published over 85 scientific research journal articles. Coble has also contributed to several crop insurance studies for the USDA Risk Management Agency. Coble served on the Board of Directors of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (2012-2015) and as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics (2008-2011). Recently, he served as the Chair of the ‘Big Ag Data’ committee for Council of Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics.  Coble has testified before Congressional Committees on three occasions and served as a Chief Economist for the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.  

His Snyder Lecture talk titled, "Taking a Longer View of U.S. Farm Policy" will cover the ebb and flow of U.S. agricultural policy since the 1980s and will discuss some logical trends for the future. In particular, he will address the trend toward insurance that has taken place and the conservation/insurance/trade nexus of the future. 

Previous Snyder Lecturers​ 


James C. Snyder

 In Memoriam

March 31, 1930 - June 1st, 1974​

James Snyder was born March 31, 1930, in Ontario, Canada. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Ontario Agricultural College in 1953, he came to Purdue for graduate study in Agricultural Economics, earning a master’s in 1956 and a PhD in 1962. Very early on Jim demonstrated extraordinary initiative and creativity. He became intrigued with the potential use of management decision models for agribusiness. He was the first Purdue student to receive a PhD thesis award from the American Farm Economics Association (now the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association). Upon completion of graduate study, Jim became a member of the Agricultural Economics faculty at Purdue and began a standout teaching and research career. He attained the rank of professor in 1969.

​His pioneering research contributed greatly to knowledge about the practical applicability of quantitative approaches to decision making in management of agribusiness firms. Jim’s design of functional programs for management decision-making is well known. His consulting activities gave him insights and opportunities to make his work relevant to everyday business needs.

Jim Snyder was a master teacher of graduate students. He provided the personalized, rigorous training that 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 is remembered as a brilliant colleague whose work, standards and style are an inspiration to those following in his footsteps at Purdue University. 


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