UArk ag economist Bob Stark plans to retire in June

bob stark
University of Arkansas ag economist Bob Stark, along with UArk soybean Extension specialist Jeremy Ross, has written a weekly soybean market report for several years — photo courtesy University of Arkansas

After nearly a quarter-century of teaching agriculture business and policy, one of the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s storied agriculture professors is stepping down.

In recognition of his 24 years of service, on April 20, Dr. Bob Stark, along with other retiring faculty members, Drs. Richard Clubb, Farrok Abedi and the late Dr. Ted Hammett, were honored with a brief reception by UAM faculty, staff and family.

Stark, an agricultural economics professor, announced that June 30 will be his last day. He came to UAM in August 1996.

His teaching responsibilities at the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources have spanned 14 separate courses, including farm management, commodity marketing, contract marketing and futures trading, and agricultural policy site-specific farm management.

Stark’s Extension and research efforts have included soybeans and corn, where he publishes weekly Arkansas Market Reports. He has compiled data and written the economics section of the Arkansas Soybean Research Verification Program annual report for the past 17 years.

During the past few years, his weekly Arkansas soybean market update has appeared on the Soybean South website.

In a letter he shared with staff and faculty, Stark said, “My decision was not easy to make because I love teaching and Extension. More directly, I love working with each of you and will miss sharing the joys of your future accomplishments — individual, as a college, and as a university.”

During his 24-year tenure, he has also conducted studies in fresh market heirloom tomato production economics and marketing and various aspects of beef cattle economics. Stark also has served as secretary-treasurer of the Tri-State Soybean Forum, a nonprofit soybean association with members in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Dr. Stark has received multiple recognitions over his career, including a 2004 Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture; 2019 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture & Natural Resources; 2017 Service Award from the Tri-State Soybean Forum; and the 2016 John W. White Outstanding Team and Extension Excellence Unit Team Awards from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for his work on the Crop Sciences Blog. He also has been recognized multiple times as a UAM outstanding academic adviser.

“As Professor Emeritus, I intend to keep an office for the immediate future, if possible, while I conduct studies of some soybean and corn economic issues. I have had these interests for many years but never found the time to adequately pursue them in depth,” Stark said.

A native of Kentucky, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

 

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