Ag graduate student takes first place for Market Channel Assessment research

Elizabeth Naasz, a graduate student getting her master’s degree the Agricultural and Resource Economics program, was awarded first place for her presentation at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s conference this year.

Elizabeth Naasz posing in front of trees. Naasz grew up in South Dakota and received a bachelor’s in business administration at the University of South Dakota. Her professors there encouraged her to apply to graduate school. She chose CSU for two reasons. The first was the financial aid she was offered, and the second was that CSU has an applied economics program rather than a theoretical one, meaning it offers a more hands-on approach to Naasz’s work.

“I am getting my master’s so that I can take all the skills that I have learned in the program and apply them to real-world business problems,” said Naasz. “That is my goal and really big part of what led me to CSU.”

Market Channel Assessment Tool

Naasz began working on the “Market Channel Assessment Tool” study, which is a state-wide project in which she, a team of two professors, Dawn Thilmany and Becca Jablonski, and a CSU Extension agent, Martha Sullins, research how to help Colorado producers understand more about the different channels they sell to. The team travels to farms throughout Colorado and works with farmers to collect data on how much time they are spending on labor at different stages of harvesting and processing for each market channel. (A market channel is any place that a farm sells its product to. This research helps producers understand the differences in profitability between the market channels they choose to participate in.)

Naasz presented the research at the AAEA conference in Chicago in August, as part of the extension competition for graduate students. The competition, sponsored jointly by the AAEA Extension Section and the Graduate Student Section, provides graduate student competitors the opportunity to develop extension and outreach programs from their research.