Three Department of Agriculture students presented their research at the University Research Symposium, April 1, 2022. This was the first time since 2019 that the symposium was held in person, and students from a wide variety of academic disciplines presented their research for the University community to see.

Two women standing next to a poster.
Madalynn Camp with her advisor Dr. Michelle Kibler

Graduate student Madalynn Camp presented her research A Hedonic Analysis of Thoroughbred Horses from Online Auctions. Under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Kibler, this study aims to provide demand determinant estimations on thoroughbred horses in second careers. Thoroughbred horses are predominantly known for being in the racing industry. While their racing career can last, on average, 4.45 years, a horse’s lifespan can be 20 to 30 years. With thoroughbreds racing careers being less than half of their life, the owners have multiple options for what they will do with the horses after their career is over, including retiring, entering a breeding program, or selling for slaughter. These horses also have the option to be sold to individuals wanting to train them in a second discipline. These disciplines include but are not limited to hunter, jumper, western, and dressage. Using a hedonic model, investigating demand determinants can show what traits are desirable in these secondary disciplines. Data for this study was collected from online auctions on thoroughbreds between 2012 and 2020 from Sport Horse Auctions. To analyze the data, the following will be considered: bid price, if the horse sold, age when auctioned, sex, color, number of pictures, number of videos, size, discipline, and additional information provided. Preliminary results show that male horses are more valuable than females by $778.39, chestnut-colored horses are more valuable than bay horses by $1,025.47, and horses with USEF, USHJA, or USEA registration have a price increase of $2,091.69.

A woman and man standing on either side of a poster.
Reagen Tibbs with his advisor Dr. Maria Boerngen

First-year graduate student Reagen Tibbs also presented the first phase of his research titled Exploring the Benefits of Precision Agriculture Technologies for Farmers. Tibbs, along with Dr. Maria Boerngen, is conducting this research under the Data-Intensive Farm Management grant through the USDA. Precision agriculture technologies have revolutionized the agriculture industry, and there are many benefits for farmers. One such use is conducting on-farm precision research (OFPE). But the adoption of precision agriculture technologies remains low across the United States. To better understand why adoption rates are low, a needs assessment will be conducted to understand better why adoption rates are low. Furthermore, this research will also focus on introducing farmers to the idea of OFPE and understanding whether farmers would adopt a new precision agriculture technology to conduct OFPE.  

Two women standing next to a poster.
Emily Lopata with her advisor Dr. Iuliia Tetteh

Emily Lopata, a senior Agribusiness major, participated in the research symposium as a part of her honors project in financial accounting for agricultural producers with Dr. Iuliia Tetteh. Her research used the 2017 Agriculture Census data to uncover trends in producer demographics and identify indications of potential relationships between various aspects of farmer demographics and the type and degree of involvement in the farm business. It was exciting to see the number of women producers increase since 2002. Women were actively involved in all areas of the farm business, with the most involvement occurring in day-to-day decision making and record-keeping, and financial management. This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about who is feeding the world and share the information with others.