Geert Boelen

Feature Story

Catching the entrepreneurship bug at Iowa State

For a young man who grew up dairy farming, Geert Boelen has found a novel way to diversify his future farm business.

Boelen may have come a long way from his childhood home, but farming has been a constant. Eight years ago, he and his family relocated from a dairy farm in the Netherlands to one in Brooklyn, Iowa. With his agricultural focus, he decided Iowa State was the perfect place to pursue a higher education.

How did Romans and Egyptians pay for their temples, pyramids?

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Abbreviated Question: 
How did Romans and Egyptians pay for their temples, pyramids?
Answer: 

Projects like temples and pyramids, as with public monuments today, represent a choice about how labor effort in a society is directed. Some labor is required to produce food, shelter and clothing that are necessities for sustaining life. Beyond this labor effort can be directed to producing other items that individuals or societies value. Every society through time has produced a surplus beyond that needed for subsistence. At the most fundamental then, it is by directing some of this “surplus” to the production of temples and pyramids that Romans and Egyptians “paid” for them.

Is a live exports ban morally self-defeating?

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Abbreviated Question: 
Is a live exports ban morally self-defeating?
Answer: 

I am not aware of any restrictions on live animal exports centered on animal welfare concerns. Concerns about animal disease outbreaks and food safety have primarily led to trade restrictions on live animals, meat, and animal products. A little economic reasoning shows why live animal trade occurs. Trade of live animals primarily consists of three classes—for slaughter, for feeding/finishing, and for breeding.

Trey Forsyth

Feature Story

Current employment/job title: Land O’Lakes, Inc., Government Relations Specialist

As part of the Land O’Lakes Government Relations team, I represent our cooperative members on federal legislative issues impacting the agriculture industry. I work to advance our policy priorities in Washington DC with government officials, while also communicating to our members and employees and driving our grassroots efforts across the U.S.   

What explains crude oil price differentials?

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Abbreviated Question: 
What explains crude oil price differentials?
Answer: 

Great question!  In general, we don’t need a monopsonistic setting to explain crude differentials between WCS and WTI.  In a competitive market, prices for the same product (oil, corn, etc.) can diverge in different markets for two reasons: (i) quality differences; and (ii) transactions cost.  Moving crude by rail is expensive.  A recent paper studying rail versus pipeline costs in North Dakota shows that rail costs averaged around $5/bbl to ship crude 1,000 miles.  Someone has to pay for these costs.  Crude oil is a global commodity – refiners can acquire crud

Izak Christensen

Feature Story

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will recognize Izak Christensen, one of six spring 2018 graduates with senior awards at the college's convocation event on May 4, 2018 beginning at 10:00 am in Hilton Coliseum. Awards are presented by the CALS Student Council.

Christensen will graduate in May with bachelor's degrees in agricultural business and agronomy, as well as a master's degree in business administration with a specialization in finance.  

Alberto Dávila

Feature Story

Dr. Alberto Dávila of Edinburg, Texas, professor of economics and lead associate dean for administration, graduate studies and research with the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), has been named dean of the Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University and will begin his new role June 1, 2018.

Dávila said he was attracted to the Harrison College of Business dean position at Southeast because of the University’s strong focus on student success and its close-knit community.

John Lawrence

Feature Story

After a nationwide search, John Lawrence has been appointed vice president of Iowa State University’s extension and outreach programs.

Lawrence, interim vice president since March 2017, previously served as associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of extension and outreach. He will begin the permanent VP role immediately.

Perry Warjiyo

Feature Story

Perry Warjiyo, a Bank Indonesia deputy governor since 2013, was endorsed March 28, 2018, by the Indonesian parliament's financial commission to be central bank governor, succeeding Agus Martowardojo. Warjiyo was President Joko Widodo’s sole nominee for the role. Warjiyo's more than three decade career at Bank Indonesia began in 1984. Prior to his role as deputy governor, he served as Executive Director of the Department of Economic Research and Monetary Policy since 2009.

Why would stockpiling commodities lead to depressing prices?

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Abbreviated Question: 
Why would stockpiling commodities lead to depressing prices?
Answer: 

The impact of stockpiling commodities on prices depends on the timeframe. While the stockpiling is occurring, your reasoning is accurate. The stockpiling is removing supplies from the market, creating more intense competition for the remaining supplies, which translates into higher prices. However, once the stockpiles are established and the next round of production is underway, the stockpiles become an alternative source for the commodity. As a user, I can either buy the commodity from the next round of production or the stockpile.

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