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Endowed chair to focus on farmland markets, values

The Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics has established the Schrader Chair in Farmland Economics to help promote applied research into farmland markets, values, returns and use.

The chair is named for the Schrader family of Columbia City, proprietors of the Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, one of the nation’s leading auctioneers of agricultural land. Founded in 1944, the company now has operations in more than 40 states, marketing large farm holdings, ranches and timberland, as well as commercial portfolios.

Funding for this new faculty endowment was provided by Rex Schrader, R.D. Schrader, Fred and Judy Geyer, and Roger Diehm.

“We are grateful for the generous gift of the Schrader family and friends. The Schrader Chair will enable us to recruit and retain a faculty member who excels at farmland economics, which will in turn help Purdue Agriculture greatly enhance its work in this very important area,” said Karen Plaut, interim dean of the College of Agriculture.

In recognition of their gift, the donors were honored with the President’s Council Pinnacle Award, one of the University’s highest honors. Pinnacle Awards recognize donors who have given more than $1 million to the university.

The gift will be matched through the College of Agriculture Endowed Chair Challenge Matching Gift Program, creating a $2 million endowment.

Jayson Lusk, agricultural economics department head, said some of the main areas the faculty member recruited for the new chair would focus on are public policy implications for farmland values, site-specific attributes and land improvements, farmland’s role in public finance and local government, and farm and land management considerations’ impact on farmland value.

“This chair represents our enduring commitment to the economics of rural land and land use,” he said. “As we face increasingly uncertain economic conditions in our rural communities, understanding land use and the evolution of farmland values is essential to ensuring a stable agricultural industry capable of providing a secure food supply for the world’s growing population.” 

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