James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture
Next Lecture: April 2021
History of the Lecture
The James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture is the Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature event at Purdue University. The lectures were established in February 1975 as an appropriate memorial to a distinguished member of the faculty. Funds are contributed by friends and corporations who wish to encourage the continuation of Jim Snyder’s professional efforts during his brief but brilliant career. As a highlight, a top professional in agricultural business and economics, or related areas, is brought to the campus to give a lecture and interact with staff and students. The Memorial Lecture, of general interest to all Department professional staff and students, is the high point of the visit. The lecture is open to the public with selected professionals invited as special guests.
To stimulate the intellectual environment of the Department for more creative research, teaching, Extension, and international activities.
- To recognize the professional contributions of Professor James Snyder in pioneering undergraduate curriculum in agricultural business management, and in the development and application of quantitative techniques for agribusiness research and training of graduates.
- To contribute to the Department’s efforts to enhance and motivate excellence in all of its mission areas by bringing to the Purdue campus individuals who can offer unique contributions.
- To broaden the perspective of students by exposing them to outstanding professionals from other institutions, and close interaction both within structured situations and informal settings.
To assist the faculty on specific assignments.
Previous Snyder Lecturers
- Jayson Lusk, 2019
- Keith Coble, 2018
- Daniel A. Sumner, 2017
- Robert L. Thompson, 2016 - Powerpoint Presentation
- Helen Jensen, 2015
- J.B. Penn, 2014
- Robert B. Zoellich, 2013 - Lecture, Panel discussion
- Rob Paarlberg, 2012 - Video of Lecture Download (700 MB), (700 MB), Presentation Slides
- Thomas Hoenig, 2011 - Video of Lecture -- part 1 and part 2. Panel discussion: part 1 and part 2
- Ian Sheldon, 2010
- Brian Wright, 2009
- Scott Irwin, 2008
- Jason Shogren 2007
- Zoltan Acs, 2006
- David Downey, 2005
- Douglas Hedley, 2004
- Susan Offutt, 2003
- Victor Davis Hanson, 2002
James C. Snyder
March 31, 1930 - June 1st, 1974
Dr. James (Jim) Snyder was born March 31, 1930 in Ontario, Canada. Jim completed his bachelor’s degree at Ontario Agricultural College in 1953 and came to Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics for graduate study, earning his M.S. degree in 1956 and a Ph.D. in 1962. In recognition of his excellence in research, Jim received a Ph.D. thesis award from the American Farm Economics Association (now the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association), the first such award earned by a Purdue student.
Jim Snyder joined the Purdue Agricultural Economics staff in 1957 as an instructor, quickly gaining prominence in the application of modern quantitative decision procedures to the problems of agricultural businesses. From 1954 to 1961 he also served in a part-time Visiting Professor capacity on the faculty of Goshen College. Professor Snyder was an outstanding teacher of both undergraduates and graduate students as well as of businessmen. He was named Teacher of the Year for his outstanding undergraduate instruction and attained the rank of full professor in 1969.
He was a pioneer in the practical application of management decision models to agribusiness. He successfully developed a compacted matrix approach to solving large and complex computer problems. He paralleled his academic success with the development of a highly respected business management consulting firm. His design of functional programs for management decision-making is well known, and his consulting activities gave him insight and opportunities to make his work relevant to every-day business needs.
Jim Snyder is remembered as a brilliant colleague whose work, standards and style are an inspiration to those following in his footsteps at Purdue University. We hope to encourage the legacy of farming, the importance of research and emerging technologies, as well as the networking of ideas and strategies with future James C. Snyder Memorial Lectures.