Dec. 9, 2011
 
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Ag economist Boehlje receives
Hovde Award for rural service

By Olivia Maddox

Michael D. Boehlje

Michael D. Boehlje

A Purdue University agricultural economist who has helped farmers and agribusinesses modernize their management strategies is the 2011 recipient of the Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to the Rural People of Indiana.

Michael D. Boehlje, distinguished professor of agricultural economics, received the award Friday (Dec. 9) at the Indiana Farm Bureau convention in Indianapolis. The award honors Purdue staff with a record of outstanding achievement and service to rural communities.

"Mike Boehlje has devoted his career to helping farm and agribusiness managers and policymakers understand the economic and financial consequences of their decisions," said Jay Akridge, Purdue's Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. "He addresses emerging issues and challenges that face the people of rural Indiana, then offers researched-based options for dealing with them in a forward-looking way."

The award is sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau and carries with it a monetary prize. It is named for Purdue's seventh president, who served from 1946 to 1971.

Through Purdue Extension programs, Boehlje presents complex concepts in economics, finance and strategy with a clarity that is easily understood so that participants can begin implementing the tools in their businesses immediately.

He also coordinated a major U.S. Department of Agriculture study on tax policy and its impact on the structure of agriculture. His work was used extensively in the discussion and debate that led to legislative reforms, which substantially reduced tax sheltering in agriculture and other industries.

Boehlje has taught agricultural management and finance for most of his 40-year career. He authored a textbook on farm finance that is widely used in universities and community colleges in Indiana and around the nation. He teaches in the Center for Food and Agricultural Business executive development programs, Purdue's MS-MBA program in food and agribusiness management, and in schools and workshops for farmers, lenders and agribusiness leaders.

"Dr. Boehlje helps Indiana farmers and agribusiness managers analyze the issues from their own operations and use strategic planning and thinking to position their firms for long-term viability and success," said Ken Foster, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. "His presentation and interpretation of trends and structural changes in agriculture have helped producers and agribusiness executives understand and respond to the major forces shaping their industry."

Boehlje was instrumental in developing the Purdue Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center and the Center for Commercial Agriculture. He has written more than 500 publications, including classroom textbooks and Extension publications. He also is a fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

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