Third Annual Lamont-Rhodes Lecture

   Business Week took place April 3 — 7 on the campus of Northern State University, organized by the NSU School of Business.
   An ice-cream social, a presentation by School of Business alumnus Felipe Alfaia, and a mocktail reception were some of the events students and faculty could take part in throughout the week.
   The Lamont-Rhodes Lecture finished off the festivities on Thursday, with Dr. Michael Boehlje, a distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University,  presenting in Krikac auditorium.
   His energy maintained the attention of the filled auditorium; even the balcony in Krikac was used for seating. People working in business and agriculture attended, eager to learn what the well-regarded researcher of agribusiness management and finance had to say. Dr. Boehje has also researched alternative systems of coordination of the food and industrial product chain.
   Dr. Boehlje’s presentation was titled, “How Do We Win in Tough Times,” focusing on what farmers and the agriculture industry can do to persevere through an economic downturn.
   He quickly made use of the two main aisles in the Krikac auditorium, explaining that during lectures at Purdue he doesn’t use a podium because he “wants to engage people in conversation.” Periodically Dr. Boehlje would ask a question and pause, waiting for the audience to reply, which brought about a response and a few chuckles.
   Despite Dr. Boehjle explaining the key financial vulnerabilities facing agriculture, he stated, “Downturns are the best time to grow your business.” He continued on to list elements of responding, such as knowing the costs of production and having cost control, when money is going to be made, and to be better, faster, and cheaper.
   “Be best in class!” was another motto Dr. Boehlje repeated, saying that a 24/7 mentality with any business is necessary. And like a parent teaches their child to save money, Dr. Boehlje advised farmers to “keep extra money in the piggy bank.”
   The lecture discussed relevant and ongoing issues facing those invested in agriculture, an industry that many in the Aberdeen area have grown up with and continue to experience. Whether invested business-wise or by yielding the crops, those in attendance were sure to  understand Dr. Boehlje’s point that with proper preparation and cooperation, an economic downturn cannot stop agricultural growth.

Lexie Doerr