Hello! Welcome to my personal website where I will share a little about my farm upbringing and how I came to love research, teaching, and extension in Agricultural Economics.
My interest in agriculture was first cultivated while being raised on the family farm in East-Central Kentucky. I began my own agribusiness at the age of fourteen when I developed a business plan and attempted to raise my own sheep flock. The economic failure that followed is what motivated me to pursue agriculture as my chosen field of study. I did not earn a profit until the third year of my sheep endeavor, however this laid the foundation for my undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky.
I chose to pursue dual degrees in Animal Science & Agricultural Economics due to my experience from raising sheep. I felt as though in order to be successful I needed to understand both the science behind the species I was raising, as well as the economic impact of production decisions.
Upon completion of my undergraduate studies I chose to attend the University of Arkansas and work with Dr. Eric Wailes in the field of agricultural policy. My master’s curriculum was a dual degree program. This meant I would earn a masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas and another masters from the European Consortium: Gent University, in Rural Development. This dual program gave me the opportunity to complete a case study in Slovakia and to study abroad in Belgium. I also spent time in Senegal collecting data for my thesis, which focused on estimating the “best” size of rice reserves needed for the West African region.
After completing my masters, I took a job with the University of Maryland and served as coordinator and faculty extension educator for the Beginning Farmer Program. This position required me to develop curriculum and course series to be utilized within the Extension system, as well as to coordinate and work with those in the agriculture industry from across the state. At completion of the grant funding, I returned to the University of Arkansas to serve as an instructor within the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (AEAB) department, where I taught five different courses. My return to the classroom reminded me how much I enjoy working with students and challenging myself to create unique and effective ways of teaching economics. This reminder, coupled with my passion for extension outreach, pushed me towards earning my Ph.D..
In the summer of 2021, I completed my Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. My dissertation focused on cow-calf production efficiency in Kansas. I am now an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, where I focus on teaching and research. I am so happy to be back in the classroom and interacting with students on a daily basis. I enjoy teaching Farm and Agribusiness Management, Introduction to Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Finance, and our freshman seminar class. I also coach our Quiz Bowl team and advise both undergraduate and graduate students.
For more information about my education, teaching, and research, please explore my website.
You can find my curriculum vitae here: Shear CV