OSU’s Kim Anderson honored for lifetime achievement
By Donald Stotts
STILLWATER, Okla. – Kim Anderson, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension emeritus grain marketing specialist, was honored with the Southern Agricultural Economics Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 3.
Damona Doye, acting head of the university’s department of agricultural economics, said agricultural producers throughout the state and region have depended on and benefited from Anderson’s grain
market analyses for decades, helping them to make the best business decisions possible when managing what are often tight profit margins
“Kim’s dedication to improving opportunities for grain producers has changed the way Oklahoma farmers market wheat and manage risk,” Doye said. “His personality, expertise
and creativity have been hallmarks of Kim’s ability to effectively communicate often complex economic concepts and make them understandable and usable.”
Take the Farm and Ranch Risk Management (FARRM) game developed by Anderson, which incorporates hands-on learning into his Extension programming. Game participants become virtual managers of a 1,280-acre wheat, sorghum,
cotton and stocker enterprise. Participants learn about and must effectively utilize multiple economic concepts, including risk management, partial budgeting and strategic marketing.
“One of the best ways to learn is through doing; the FARRM game fosters sound decision-making in a real-world environment, only within the safety net of the game environment,” Doye said.
“Participants then take what they learned in the game and hopefully more effectively apply the concepts to their actual operational decisions.”
Anderson has always been a strong believer in lifelong learning, not just for Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service clientele and OSU students in the classroom but for himself as well.
“He once managed a receiving grain elevator during a wheat harvest, just to get firsthand experience so he could better understand what producers and related agribusinesses needed from his research studies and Extension programming,” Doye said.
Though having already reached the highest pinnacles of academia, Anderson once spent a summer as an unpaid sales representative at the John Deere dealership in Stillwater, Okla.,
just to test if agricultural sales concepts he had been teaching really worked. They did.
Anderson’s willingness to experiment and his passion for providing the best education possible led him to recognize early in his career that he could maximize his audience through the use of mass media.
Beginning in 1988, Anderson has provided weekly grain marketing insights on SUNUP, the agricultural TV show produced by the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources that is broadcast statewide on
OETA, Oklahoma’s PBS affiliate, and featured internationally on video providers such as YouTube.
“Kim’s always-informative segments have been extremely popular with our SUNUP audience for decades, in part because his personality shines through. He has the ability to make it seem as though you’re sitting down with your best friend, a really smart friend but one who doesn’t talk over your head, which is a real gift,” said Lyndall Stout, SUNUP anchor and producer.
“And the way media works today, Kim’s SUNUP segments are available for viewing by just about anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.”
Anderson has been featured regularly in state newspapers and regional agricultural media such as Oklahoma Farm Report, Agrinet radio network, High Plains Journal and Farm Talk magazine, among others. He has been a longtime contributor of the
tri-state publicationSouthwest Farm Press, reaching producers and related agribusinesses through both its print and online aspects.
“For some 30 years Dr. Anderson has written a column ‘Wheat Scoops’ for every issue we’ve published,” said Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press editor.
“I learned early on that if space for an issue was tight, I should leave out something else because readers would notice and complain.”
Smith added he has been privileged to hear Anderson speak at numerous commodity meetings and conferences, and said the sessions are always a “highlight of the seminar.”
“Dr. Anderson has an uncanny ability to teach, enlighten and entertain without being either condescending or irrelevant,” he said. “His presentations are always on the mark and never dull. There is no better representative for this prestigious award.”
Mark Hodges, executive director of Plains Grains Inc. and Oklahoma Genetics Inc., credits Anderson with developing a straightforward but effective wheat marketing plan for Oklahoma producers that over time has put more money in producers’ pockets.
“Oklahoma’s wheat industry is a $1.5 billion grain and grazing contributor to the state economy and Dr. Anderson has had a significant effect through his outstanding leadership relative to wheat marketing issues,” Hodges said.
Anderson’s commitment to service and effectiveness as an educator is also evident in his classroom endeavors. The department of agricultural economics’ official student organization – the Aggie X Club – has twice honored Anderson with its annual Outstanding Teacher Award, and the OSU Agricultural Alumni Association
bestowed Anderson with its Exemplary Faculty Award in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Anderson served as a high school vocational agriculture teacher and a county student trainee farm management specialist for FMHA/USDA prior to entering graduate school in 1974. He began his career as an OSU Cooperative Extension specialist in 1976 while pursuing his graduate studies. After earning his advanced degree, Anderson worked for
the University of Kentucky before returning to OSU as a faculty member in 1982, attaining the rank of full professor in 1989.