Matching Items (10)

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The Initial Feasibility of a Small Hydroponic Farm Startup in Austin, Texas

Description

This thesis will examine market research relating to consumer food trends and the business environment of Austin, Texas in order to evaluate the initial feasibility of establishing a small hydroponic

This thesis will examine market research relating to consumer food trends and the business environment of Austin, Texas in order to evaluate the initial feasibility of establishing a small hydroponic produce farm. A main concern of this report is to provide a general overview of hydroponics and its potential advantages over traditional farming methods as a technique for producing food products for consumers in a local setting. To explore the potential of establishing such a venture, this report will also include a partial business plan focusing on the marketing strategy of initiating a hydroponic produce farm in Austin.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Muse & Market: Best Practices for Opening a New Restaurant and Applying them in Phoenix, AZ

Description

The restaurant opening process for "Muse & Market" was documented and evaluated. For my creative project, I served as the Director of Business Development for "Muse & Market" and assisted

The restaurant opening process for "Muse & Market" was documented and evaluated. For my creative project, I served as the Director of Business Development for "Muse & Market" and assisted in the carrying out of activities including supplier selection, functional retail assembly and other key decision making. I paralleled this experience by researching best practices in the restaurant industry. I performed research by reviewing academic literature and online sources and by interviewing marketing managers and restauranteurs in New York City and Phoenix, AZ. I compiled a list of best practices based off of the commonalities from my research and interviews. I then compared these findings to what I experienced at Muse & Market to determine which of Muse & Market's launch preparation activities aligned with which best practices. I also identified areas of improvement for Muse & Market based on this comparison. Lastly I offered my key takeaways from my experience as an aspiring entrepreneur in the restaurant industry.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Robotics Based Durability Testing of Dendritic Identifiers for a Secure Produce Supply Chain

Description

A description of the robotics principles, actuators, materials, and programming used to test the durability of dendritic identifiers to be used in the produce supply chain. This includes the application

A description of the robotics principles, actuators, materials, and programming used to test the durability of dendritic identifiers to be used in the produce supply chain. This includes the application of linear and rotational servo motors, PWM control of a DC motor, and hall effect sensors to create an encoder.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Cross-Country Supply Chain Outreach: A Partnership between Collegiate Students at the Arizona State University and High School Students at the Urban Assembly of Global Commerce

Description

Over the course of 2015-2017, the ASU-SCMA/UASGC Outreach program was developed at Arizona State University (ASU) to support both high school students and college students interested in supply chain management

Over the course of 2015-2017, the ASU-SCMA/UASGC Outreach program was developed at Arizona State University (ASU) to support both high school students and college students interested in supply chain management careers. In particular, the program targets the high school students of the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce (UASGC) and the college students of the ASU Supply Chain Management Association (ASU-SCMA). High school students are partnered with college students in a year-long mentoring program that allows both parties to develop professional supply chain skills. The work of the ASU-SCMA/UASGC Outreach Program is particularly important because it provides UASGC with much needed resources to address urban poverty issues in New York using career and technical education. The Urban Assembly describes its student group as "at-risk, under-resourced youth," and of those youth: - 85% are low-income - 83% enter high school below grade level in at least one subject - 20% require Individualized Education Plans (Special Needs) (urbanassembly.org). The Outreach Program addresses the above issues by providing the high school students with collegiate mentors that develop supply chain and college readiness resources in the form of a case study, site tour, supply chain simulation and presentations. In order to be considered successful, the program must first, equip the high school mentees with tools and skills for a professional career, specifically supply chain management, that they would not otherwise be exposed to; and second, motivate the collegiate participants who are about to enter the workforce to continue to participate in mentoring throughout their careers. This program documents the efforts and results of the pilot year for the Outreach Program that took place from September 2016 through March 2017. Through this pilot program, it was determined that the ASU-SCMA/UASGC Outreach Program is effective and valuable. In fact, the program found that: - 75% of the high school students agreed or strongly agreed that the program helped them learn new business skills. - 75% of the high school students agreed that the program taught them new, interesting things about supply chain. - 75% of the high school students became more interested in college. 100% of the college mentors agreed or strongly agreed that they gained new and important supply chain and professional skills. The success of the pilot year has led to plans for the Outreach Program to become an annual project for ASU-SCMA. This is a program that will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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An Examination of The Path to Prescriptive Analytics

Description

The difficulty of demonstrating a significant return on investment from the use of advanced data analytics has led to a lack of utilization of this tool. The most likely explanation

The difficulty of demonstrating a significant return on investment from the use of advanced data analytics has led to a lack of utilization of this tool. The most likely explanation for this phenomenon is the difficulty of incorporating non-financial metrics in the higher levels of analysis that are fully salient and derived in a manner that can be understood and trusted by organizational leaders. Another challenge that has confounded the use of advanced analytics by the leadership of organizations is the widely accepted belief that models are oftentimes developed with an insufficient number of variables that are expected to have an impact, which inhibits extrapolation of results for use in real-world decision making. This research identifies factors that contribute to the underutilization of analytics models in managerial decisions by leadership of the produce industry, and explores a variety of potential tools including descriptive analytics and dashboards that are able to provide predictive, prescriptive, and more advanced cognitive methods of decision making for use by organizational leadership. By understanding the disconnect between availability of the advanced data analysis tools and use of such tools by organizational leadership, this research assists in identifying the programs and resources that should be developed and presented as opportunities for support in the industrial decision-making process. This dissertation explores why managers within the produce industry underutilize higher levels of data analytics and whether it is possible to increase their levels of cognitive comfort. It shows that by providing leadership with digestible and rudimentary business experiments, they become more comfortable with more complex data analytics and then are better able to utilize dashboards and other tools within their decision-making models. As experiments are explained to managers, they become as comfortable with conducting experiments as they are with dashboards, thus becoming comfortable with evaluating their benefits.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Three essays on innovation: optimal licensing strategies, new variety adoption, and consumer preference in a peer network

Description

It is well understood that innovation drives productivity growth in agriculture. Innovation, however, is a process that involves activities distributed throughout the supply chain. In this dissertation I investigate

It is well understood that innovation drives productivity growth in agriculture. Innovation, however, is a process that involves activities distributed throughout the supply chain. In this dissertation I investigate three topics that are at the core of the distribution and diffusion of innovation: optimal licensing of university-based inventions, new variety adoption among farmers, and consumers’ choice of new products within a social network environment.

University researchers assume an important role in innovation, particularly as a result of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed universities to license inventions funded by federal research dollars, to private industry. Aligning the incentives to innovate at the university level with the incentives to adopt downstream, I show that non-exclusive licensing is preferred under both fixed fee and royalty licensing. Finding support for non-exclusive licensing is important as it provides evidence that the concept underlying the Bayh-Dole Act has economic merit, namely that the goals of university-based researchers are consistent with those of society, and taxpayers, in general.

After licensing, new products enter the diffusion process. Using a case study of small holders in Mozambique, I observe substantial geographic clustering of new-variety adoption decisions. Controlling for the other potential factors, I find that information diffusion through space is largely responsible for variation in adoption. As predicted by a social learning model, spatial effects are not based on geographic distance, but rather on neighbor-relationships that follow from information exchange. My findings are consistent with others who find information to be the primary barrier to adoption, and means that adoption can be accelerated by improving information exchange among farmers.

Ultimately, innovation is only useful when adopted by end consumers. Consumers’ choices of new products are determined by many factors such as personal preferences, the attributes of the products, and more importantly, peer recommendations. My experimental data shows that peers are indeed important, but “weak ties” or information from friends-of-friends is more important than close friends. Further, others regarded as experts in the subject matter exert the strongest influence on peer choices.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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The Dodd-Frank Act and its impact on agricultural lending

Description

The Dodd-Frank Act was created to promote financial stability in the United States. However, no one is quite sure what it is yet. While action had to be taken and

The Dodd-Frank Act was created to promote financial stability in the United States. However, no one is quite sure what it is yet. While action had to be taken and Dodd-Frank has some positives, Dodd-Frank, as it is deciphered today, has severe drawbacks. Since Dodd-Frank is only in its infancy, it is difficult to form an interim conclusion about its effects on agricultural lending at this point. After passing Dodd-Frank in 2010, the government began trying to figure out what it means. Four years later, they are still trying and are about half way through making the rules. This law essentially replaces Glass-Steagall, which was repealed several years ago. Many believe repealing Glass-Steagall was a big reason for the financial collapse of 2008. While Glass-Steagall was a short, easily understood document, Dodd Frank adds many more regulations and pages. This creates a long, bulky, confusing law that seems to be extremely tough to comprehend legally or as a banker. In this study, I try to balance the positives and negatives of Dodd-Frank to understand if it is more detrimental or beneficial to agricultural lending. While we find that Dodd-Frank does help keep banks from some of the risky investments that many believe led to the financial crisis, the added paperwork, compliance costs, and strain it puts on small banks can be worrisome. I interviewed several agriculture-lending professionals who regularly deal with the rules and regulations of Dodd-Frank to discover the impact the new law has on banks, their customers, and the economy as a whole. These interviews give insight into what Dodd-Frank means to the agriculture-lending market and what changes have had to occur since the law was passed. These interviews demonstrate that Dodd-Frank is largely looked down upon by the banking industry. The professionals interviewed are very experienced. After the extensive research, interviews, and discoveries that came of this study, it was concluded that Dodd-Frank seems to hurt the lending industry much more than it helps. One major concern is the strain Dodd-Frank puts on small banks and how it makes "too big to fail" banks even bigger.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Analysis of the United States' sugar Industry

Description

Unrestricted Mexican exports of sugar into the U.S. is considered the most pressing issue facing the U.S. sugar industry. The goal of this dissertation is to analyze the trade of

Unrestricted Mexican exports of sugar into the U.S. is considered the most pressing issue facing the U.S. sugar industry. The goal of this dissertation is to analyze the trade of sugar between Mexico and the U.S. as well as analyze additional primary issues confronting the U.S. sugar industry. Chapters 1 and 2 provide an introduction to the U.S. sugar industry. Chapters 3 through 6 develop trade models which analyze sugar trade between Mexico and the U.S. The trade models estimate how NAFTA, USDA sugar forecast errors and Mexican ownership of twenty percent of the Mexican sugar industry each impact U.S. producer surplus and Mexican welfare. Results validate that U.S. producer surplus and in some instances Mexican welfare were decreased by full implementation of NAFTA. U.S. producer surplus and Mexican welfare were decreased due to USDA sugar production forecasting errors. U.S. producer surplus would be increased if the Mexican government did not own twenty percent of Mexican sugar production. Using an online choice experiment, Chapter 7 assesses U.S. consumers' preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for imported and genetically modified (GM) labeled sugar and sugar in soft drinks. Results indicate that consumers prefer bags of sugar and soft drinks labeled as "Not GM". Furthermore, consumers prefer sugar from Canada and the U.S. over sugar from Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines. Evidence is also provided that participants are more likely to choose actual products in the choice set rather than the "none of these" options when controlling for hypothetical bias by using consequentiality techniques. A non-hypothetical experimental auction was used in Chapter 8 to determine consumers' WTP for soft drinks labeled with sweetener and calorie information and analyzed the role of taste panels in an experimental auction. Results indicate that sugar is consumers' most preferred sweetener and calorie labeling is ineffective at influencing consumers to choose healthier soft drinks. Including taste in an experimental auction caused significant reductions in consumers' WTP for all soft drinks. Chapter 9 concludes by summarizing the results of this dissertation and discussing the future challenges facing the U.S. sugar industry.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The value of gluten-free attributes in snack foods

Description

Celiac Disease (CD) is now widespread as one in 133 people are currently diagnosed, while there were only one in 150 in 2006. Much of the research concerning CD

Celiac Disease (CD) is now widespread as one in 133 people are currently diagnosed, while there were only one in 150 in 2006. Much of the research concerning CD is still in the early stages, as formal epidemiological studies are relatively recent. CD is aggravated by the consumption of gluten, which is found mainly in wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Not surprisingly, the rising prevalence of CD has created a significant business opportunity for food manufacturers in developing products that are tailored to CD sufferers. While the entire Gluten-Free (GF) industry has been experiencing double digit growth rates, the expansion in available snack foods has outstripped all others. Observation of GF snack food prices suggests that food manufacturers are responding to high retail prices associated with GF foods. However, GF foods are often also advertised with other attributes that generally sell for a premium over conventional foods. Therefore, whether the high retail price for GF snack foods can be attributed specifically to the GF attribute is an empirical question. The objective of this research is to determine whether there is a retail-price premium for GF snack foods and, if there is, to estimate its magnitude. A hedonic pricing model is used to answer this question. Specifically, a hedonic pricing model was applied to a unique dataset of snack food products in order to estimate the marginal value for the GF attribute, while controlling for a number of other important attributes. Results show that the GF attribute is both economically and statistically significant, implying a premium of nearly $1.86 above gluten-containing products. Production costs for smaller manufacturers can be two to three times higher for GF foods relative to non-GF foods, but this still implies an excess premium of over $0.50 (assuming 40% margins). However, high premiums may not last as large retailers are utilizing their influence over suppliers to keep retail margins low. Therefore, the primary implication of the research is that the rapid growth in recent years can easily be explained on economic grounds for large agribusinesses, as this implies a major profit opportunity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010