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 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. 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 Outstanding Clerical Service and Outstanding Administrative Professional Service 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​

Dr. 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.  

James, known to his Purdue's Agricultural Economics colleagues as Jim, from 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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