Professor Foster's research interests are in the fields of production economics and marketing with special emphasis on dynamic models. His work has included a dynamic analysis of investment and supply in the U.S. beef cattle industry, measuring technical change in agriculture, the management of livestock waste, demand for heterogeneous products, and the use of contracts in agricultural production. Foster’s research and outreach activities have included testimony to Senate committees and state legislative study committees on the competitiveness of livestock markets and the use of contract production. Likewise, his work has impacted the decisions of private stakeholders in the livestock and meat industry. Most notable, perhaps, is his coauthored book Positioning Your Pork Operation for the 21st Century which provided guidance to the international pork industry during a time of dramatic technological and managerial revolution.
Professor Foster teaches agricultural price analysis and applied time series analysis, has experience working in Latin America, China, Europe, and Africa, and serves as an extension specialist in the area of livestock production economics. Foster served as Associate Head and Graduate Program Director from 2004 to 2008 and was named Interim Department Head in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed as head of the department. Foster serves on the College of Agriculture Academic Leadership Council and as an ex-Officio member of the Board of Directors for the Agribusiness Council of Indiana. Among his many awards, Ken has been recognized by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association for Distinguished Graduate Teaching with 10 or More Years’ Experience, by the College of Agriculture for Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor, and has received the Purdue Agriculture Team Award on three different occasions.
Applied Economic Time Series
“Estimating Elasticities with the Linear Approximate Almost Ideal Demand System", RESTAT with J.Alston and R. Green.
“A Dynamic Model of Investment in the U.S. Beef Cattle Industry”, JBES with O. Burt.
“Cointegration and Settlement of Commodity Futures Contracts,” Macroeconomic Dynamics with A. Havenner.
“Capital Investment Under Alternative Marketing Scenarios in the Hog Sector: A Real Options Approach,” CJAE with A. Maung.