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Inspiring Teacher: Frayne Olson, associate professor of agribusiness and applied economics

Frayne Olson, NDSU associate professor of agribusiness and applied economics, has worked directly with farm and ranch
managers, agriculture industry leaders and policy makers. These interactions have given him a broad knowledge of many
areas in the agriculture industry and a diverse set of real-world applications.

As an experienced crop economist, extension specialist and farmer, Frayne Olson understands how the concepts he teaches apply to the real world. Olson has worked directly with farm and ranch managers, agriculture industry leaders and policy makers. These interactions have given him a broad knowledge of many areas in the agriculture industry and a diverse set of real-world applications.

“On the first day of class, I tell my students that I have a fairly laidback teaching style, but high expectations for myself, as an instructor, and for them, as students,” Olson said. “I will teach them the core concepts, theories or processes and also use examples (tell stories) to reinforce the concepts. I also tell them that five years from now they may not remember all the details of the concepts, but they will likely remember the stories.” 

Olson’s teaching strategy involves helping students transition from problem-solving skills as students to decision-making skills as professionals.

“I am always asking students “why?” If we can understand “why” things are done, in addition to “how” things are done, we can become much better decision makers,” Olson said. “As an instructor, it is very exciting to see students make this transition throughout the semester.”

Olson earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural economics from NDSU and holds a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He has held various positions with NDSU Extension and the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives since 1987. Olson is crop economist/marketing specialist for NDSU Extension and director of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives.

 

Source: NDSU News

 

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